reflect

verb
re·​flect | \ ri-ˈflekt How to pronounce reflect (audio) \
reflected; reflecting; reflects

Definition of reflect

transitive verb

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

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

Synonyms for reflect

Synonyms

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 This will reflect my age, but the term ‘granny flat’ seems just fine to me. Adrian Vore, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Jan. 2022 The December inflation data also will reflect the initial impact of the Omicron variant, which is posing a new threat to the economy as the pandemic enters its third year. Gwynn Guilford, WSJ, 12 Jan. 2022 Such prickliness may reflect the insecurity that Lem felt in his homeland. Caleb Crain, The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2022 But even last year, the stats don’t reflect the toughness and physicality that Mühl brings and others on the team don’t. Alexa Philippou, courant.com, 8 Jan. 2022 This better-than-expected unemployment rate doesn’t reflect everyone’s reality, though. Courtney Vinopal, Quartz, 7 Jan. 2022 Part of the worker shortage may reflect retirement decisions prompted by the pandemic. New York Times, 7 Jan. 2022 The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service. The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Jan. 2022 Juco has not entered a plea in the case, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, 6 Jan. 2022

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 7

History and Etymology for reflect

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

Learn More About reflect

Time Traveler for reflect

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near reflect

reflation

reflect

reflectance

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reflect

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reflect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflect. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for reflect

reflect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reflect

: 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 How to pronounce reflect (audio) \
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 How to pronounce reflect (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reflect

Nglish: Translation of reflect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reflect for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!