reflection

noun
re·​flec·​tion | \ ri-ˈflek-shən How to pronounce reflection (audio) \

Definition of reflection

1 : an instance of reflecting especially : the return of light or sound waves from a surface
2 : the production of an image by or as if by a mirror
3a : the action of bending or folding back
b : a reflected part : fold
4 : something produced by reflecting: such as
a : an image given back by a reflecting surface
b : an effect produced by an influence the high crime rate is a reflection of our violent society
5 : an often obscure or indirect criticism : reproach a reflection on his character
6 : a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation
7 : consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose
8 obsolete : turning back : return
9a : a transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane
b : a transformation that involves reflection in more than one axis of a rectangular coordinate system

Other Words from reflection

reflectional \ ri-​ˈflek-​shnəl How to pronounce reflection (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for reflection

Synonyms

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Examples of reflection in a Sentence

She was looking at her reflection in the mirror. He saw the reflections of the clouds on the lake.
Recent Examples on the Web Striking prose and unforgettable characters—including a young Black woman in relentless pursuit of justice—make for a shocking page-turner and timely reflection. Véronique Hyland, ELLE, 18 May 2022 The processes of reflection, refraction, and diffraction of light can produce some really interesting things in the sky. Marshall Shepherd, Forbes, 17 May 2022 For the open-minded, Mr. Dugatkin’s depiction of power in the wild yields a stunningly provocative reflection. David P. Barash, WSJ, 17 May 2022 People visit the abbey’s Benedictine monks in search of reflection, tranquility and a deeper connection with the divine. oregonlive, 14 May 2022 Amidst the reflection were four hard-fought basketball games with an intensity that far exceeded the typical All-Star competition. Ethan Fuller, BostonGlobe.com, 13 May 2022 Also in this issue is senior correspondent Justin Worland’s reflection on a new film, Black Gold, produced by TIME Studios and Darren Aronofsky’s Protozoa Pictures. Edward Felsenthal, Time, 12 May 2022 Or simply a reflection from lights that played a trick on the eyes? Kori Rumore, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2022 The reflection of this kaleidoscopic effect of Latin America. Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of reflection

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reflection

Middle English, alteration of reflexion, from Late Latin reflexion-, reflexio act of bending back, from Latin reflectere

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Time Traveler for reflection

Time Traveler

The first known use of reflection was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near reflection

reflecting telescope

reflection

reflection grating

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Statistics for reflection

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reflection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflection. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reflection

reflection

noun
re·​flec·​tion | \ ri-ˈflek-shən How to pronounce reflection (audio) \

Kids Definition of reflection

1 : the return of light or sound waves from a surface
2 : an image produced by or as if by a mirror
3 : something that brings blame or disgrace It's a reflection on my honesty.
4 : careful thought After much reflection, I agreed.
5 : an opinion formed or a remark made after careful thought

reflection

noun
re·​flec·​tion
variants: also British reflexion \ ri-​ˈflek-​shən How to pronounce reflection (audio) \

Medical Definition of reflection

1 : an instance of reflecting especially : the return of light or sound waves from a surface
2 : the production of an image by or as if by a mirror
3a : the action of bending or folding back
b : a reflected part or a fold the mesentery is a reflection of the peritoneum
4 : something produced by reflecting especially : an image given back by a reflecting surface

More from Merriam-Webster on reflection

Nglish: Translation of reflection for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reflection for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about reflection

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