Definition of reflect
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
1 : to throw back light or sound
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.
Recent Examples of reflect from the Web
The U.S. government has not blamed WannaCry on North Korea — reflecting the fact that determining the role of a nation-state can be a Sisyphean task.
There's a coarseness to them that reflects decades of laboring in the fields.
Thursday's filing reflects many of the same arguments that administration lawyers have made in the lower courts.
Rising oil prices have reflected improving global growth prospects, which in turn have buoyed risk appetite and fueled credit spread tightening.
Still, this reflects only part of Lexmark's issue with Impression.
The court order requires the state to redo the line’s ridership forecasts to reflect Metro’s decline.
And the slow uptake by hospitals reflects a tangle of challenges.
The room where candles are reflected millions of times in memory of the 1.5 million children who were murdered by the Nazis is enough to reduce anyone to tears.
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.
Origin and Etymology of reflect
Middle English, from Latin reflectere to bend back, from re- + flectere to bend
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of reflect
REFLECT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of reflect for English Language Learners
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 Defined for Kids
Definition of reflect for Students
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.
Word Root of reflect
The Latin word flectere, meaning “to bend” or “to curve,” and its form flexus give us the roots flect and flex. Words from the Latin flectere have something to do with bending or curving. To flex is to cause something, such as a muscle, to curve or bend. Something flexible can be bent without breaking. To deflect, or turn aside, is to bend the direction of something. To reflect is to bend an image back to the person looking at a mirror or other shiny surface.
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
Seen and Heard
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