reflect

verb
re·​flect | \ ri-ˈflekt \
reflected; reflecting; reflects

Definition of reflect

transitive verb

1 archaic : to turn into or away from a course : deflect
2 : to prevent passage of and cause to change direction a mirror reflects light
3 : to bend or fold back
4 : to give back or exhibit as an image, likeness, or outline : mirror the clouds were reflected in the water
5 : to bring or cast as a result his attitude reflects little credit on his judgment
6 : to make manifest or apparent : show the painting reflects his artistic vision the pulse reflects the condition of the heart

intransitive verb

1 : to throw back light or sound
2a : to think quietly and calmly
b : to express a thought or opinion resulting from reflection
3a : to tend to bring reproach or discredit an investigation that reflects on all the members of the department
b : to bring about a specified appearance or characterization an act which reflects well on her
c : to have a bearing or influence

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for reflect

Synonyms

image, mirror

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for reflect

think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference. think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions. teaches students how to think cogitate implies deep or intent thinking. cogitated on the mysteries of nature reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind. reflecting on fifty years of married life reason stresses consecutive logical thinking. able to reason brilliantly in debate speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic. speculated on the fate of the lost explorers deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision. the jury deliberated for five hours

Examples of reflect in a Sentence

The old church is reflected in the glass exterior of the skyscraper. Her book clearly reflects her beliefs. Where you learned a language is reflected in your accent.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The Podolsky spokesman said that situation didn’t reflect their current business practices. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Prosecutors Probe Hoteliers Paid by New York City to House Homeless," 18 Jan. 2019 The ideas expressed in this story are the opinion of the author and those featured and do not necessarily reflect the views of SELF or SELF editors. Amy Quichiz, SELF, "10 Vegans of Color on What Being Vegan Means to Them," 6 Jan. 2019 The depth of color reflects the maturity of the fruit at the time of harvest, with green and yellow occurring at the beginning of the ripening cycle and purple and black happening at the end. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "It Turns Out Olives Are Actually Fruits and Not Vegetables," 11 Dec. 2018 Her porcelain face, its features so strikingly similar to those of the Dutch Golden Age, reflects the radiance of her headdresses like Vermeer’s Girl’s mirrored her earring, but the overall effect is less of warmth than of hard truth. Gabriella Fuller, ELLE Decor, "Photographer Hendrik Kerstens Is a Modern Day Dutch Master," 16 Oct. 2018 Grappling with a transformative moment While vague, predicting a year of significant transformation only reflects the climate of uncertainty and possibility that’s settled over the market. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 Unsurprisingly, then, the menu here reflects this globe-trotting culinary experience. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunch Places in Atlanta," 21 Aug. 2018 Each day we’re faced with seemingly humdrum decisions that reflect subconscious biases — and shape our personal, professional, and financial futures. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Glow Recipe Announced the Upcoming Launch of a Target Line Called Sweet Chef," 27 Dec. 2018 Where to Eat Izakaya, in De Pijp, is very much the flavor of the month, but there are plenty of humbler establishments that reflect Amsterdam’s Eastern inheritance. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reflect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of reflect

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for reflect

Middle English, from Latin reflectere to bend back, from re- + flectere to bend

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reflect

Statistics for reflect

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reflect

The first known use of reflect was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reflect

reflect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reflect

of light, sound, etc. : to move in one direction, hit a surface, and then quickly move in a different and usually opposite direction

: to show the image of (something) on a surface

: to show (something) : to make (something) known

reflect

verb
re·​flect | \ ri-ˈflekt \
reflected; reflecting

Kids Definition of reflect

1 : to bend or throw back (waves of light, sound, or heat) A polished surface reflects light.
2 : to give back an image or likeness of in the manner of a mirror The clouds were reflected in the water.
3 : to make known The book reflects her beliefs.
4 : to cause to be thought of in a specified way or in a bad way Your poor behavior reflects on the whole class.
5 : to think seriously and carefully about I reflected on the problem.

reflect

transitive verb
re·​flect | \ ri-ˈflekt \

Medical Definition of reflect

1 : to bend or fold back : impart a backward curve, bend, or fold to
2 : to push or lay aside (as tissue or an organ) during surgery in order to gain access to the part to be operated on the pleura were reflected and later closed over the stump

intransitive verb

: to throw back light or sound : return rays, beams, or waves

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on reflect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reflect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reflect

Spanish Central: Translation of reflect

Nglish: Translation of reflect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reflect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on reflect

What made you want to look up reflect? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!