reflective

adjective

re·​flec·​tive ri-ˈflek-tiv How to pronounce reflective (audio)
1
: capable of reflecting light, images, or sound waves
2
3
: of, relating to, or caused by reflection
reflective glare
4
5
: reflecting something : indicative
how fashion is reflective of societyGlenda Bailey
reflectively adverb
reflectiveness noun

Did you know?

Reflective people are people who reflect on things--that is, look back at things that have been done or said in order to think calmly and quietly about them. Most reflective people would agree with Socrates that (as he told the jury that would soon sentence him to death) "The unexamined life is not worth living". Reflective people tend to be a bit philosophical and intellectual. But almost everyone has reflective moods; gazing into a fireplace or a campfire seems to do it to almost everyone.

Example Sentences

the reflective glare of the shiny metal She was in a very reflective mood.
Recent Examples on the Web Two podcast dealmakers who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter note that companies have been more judicious in closing deals but were careful to emphasize that those changes weren’t, in their opinions, reflective of an overall decline for podcasting. J. Clara Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Jan. 2023 Further, this particular sector has experienced many spikes in layoffs over the last 20 years that were not reflective of broader economic trends, according to a Goldman Sachs economic research report published Monday. Bymegan Leonhardt, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 The 19% increase is reflective of a raise in salary for nurses represented by the union across private hospitals in New York City. Diego Lasarte, Quartz, 12 Jan. 2023 One game developer tweeted that the wide salary discrepancies could be reflective of how a job posting encompasses multiple potential roles. Shannon Liao, Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2023 While there are exemptions and supplements to the limits, some say the caps aren’t reflective of today’s labor demands. Dallas News, 28 Dec. 2022 And that is reflective of new trends developing both for men and women in the labor force. Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, 15 Dec. 2022 Keon’s behavior, Lee said, is reflective of larger problems that Asian and Asian American students in academia often face. Kimmy Yam, NBC News, 14 Dec. 2022 Shortly after Takeoff’s friends, family, and fans gathered to mourn the unexpected death of the Migos rapper at a funeral service on Friday, Cardi B took a reflective moment of her own to honor him. Jodi Guglielmi, Rolling Stone, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of reflective was in 1627

Dictionary Entries Near reflective

Cite this Entry

“Reflective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflective. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

reflective

adjective
re·​flec·​tive ri-ˈflek-tiv How to pronounce reflective (audio)
1
: capable of reflecting light, images, or sound waves
2
: marked by reflection : thoughtful
3
: of, relating to, or caused by reflection
reflectively adverb
reflectiveness noun
reflectivity
ˌrē-ˌflek-ˈtiv-ət-ē
ri-
noun

Medical Definition

reflective

adjective
re·​flec·​tive ri-ˈflek-tiv How to pronounce reflective (audio)
1
: capable of reflecting light, images, or sound waves
2
: of, relating to, or caused by reflection
reflective glare of the snow

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