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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from reflection

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

Synonyms for reflection

Synonyms

comment, note, remark

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Their 8-2 win – and the two that came before it – felt more like a reflection on the Blue Jays than an indication of how well the Diamondbacks are playing. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks sweep Blue Jays, gear up for first-place Phillies," 9 June 2019 In addition, the students were required to provide a reflection on the meaning behind the piece and the professional artist who inspired it. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Greendale High School officials take down a student's art piece on racism, saying it could create a disruption," 7 June 2019 Every piece contains a story, a reflection on costume history, and a nod to the surreal. Vogue, "19 FIT, Pratt, and Parsons 2019 Graduates on Their Collections and the Future of Fashion," 22 May 2019 Our second edition of the Weekend Read focuses on the remaining 16 World Cup teams, one writer's reflection on reporting Tyler Hilinski's story and more. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Weekend Read: A Case for All 16 Teams to Win the World Cup, Reflecting on Tyler Hilinski and More," 29 June 2018 This leads him to some provocative reflections on race. Jedediah Purdy, The New Republic, "The Remaking of Class," 27 June 2018 The question now is whether this is the start of a larger reflection on the role technology plays not just in government work but in all aspects of life. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Trump Stokes Outrage in Silicon Valley—But It's Selective," 20 June 2018 That moment led to some reflection on how my former peers in the Boston sports media have been equally amazing and supportive during this time. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, "A letter of appreciation from John Martin, a NESN cameraman, to Boston sports media," 11 June 2018 So have those looking for a moody but credible reflection on decades of regrets. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ray Meets Helen': Film Review," 5 May 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reflection

Statistics for reflection

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reflection

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reflection

reflection

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reflection

: an image that is seen in a mirror or on a shiny surface
: something that shows the effect, existence, or character of something else
: something that causes people to disapprove of a person or thing

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 reflexion (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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reflection

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

WORD OF THE DAY

standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!