re·​flec·​tive | \ ri-ˈflek-tiv How to pronounce reflective (audio) \

Definition of reflective

1 : capable of reflecting light, images, or sound waves
3 : of, relating to, or caused by reflection reflective glare
5 : reflecting something : indicative how fashion is reflective of society— Glenda Bailey

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Other Words from reflective

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.

Examples of reflective in a Sentence

the reflective glare of the shiny metal She was in a very reflective mood.

Recent Examples on the Web

Older snow, explains Mottram, loses the sharp snowflake edges and fluffy texture that help reflect away the light, instead congealing in a more solid, less-reflective mass that soaks up the sun’s heat. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "A heat wave is turning Greenland’s ice to slush. That's bad news.," 1 Aug. 2019 The Manson murders seem like an odd, even impossible entry point for an artist in 2019 to craft a personal and self-reflective film about aging and the inevitability of creative obsolescence. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Review: Quentin Tarantino gets personal in bittersweet ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’," 24 July 2019 Bradley said the program arrives at a time when Michigan is experiencing a shortage of tree trimmers that’s reflective of a national trend. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "New program trains Michigan inmates for tree-trimming jobs after prison," 10 July 2019 Dixon's test consisted only of the framework, not the polycarbonate laminated screen that is meant to have an anti-reflective coating on the screen's interior, anti-fogging device and possible tear-offs. Robby General, Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon tests IndyCar's Aeroscreen prototype in simulator," 2 July 2019 For instance, the number is not reflective of the amount of correctional officers per inmate. Tyler Kendall, CBS News, "Why can't prisons staff their facilities? One state might have a solution," 31 Aug. 2019 Their place in pot three is arguably not reflective of their actual quality., "Liverpool's Best & Worst Case Scenarios Ahead of 2019/20 Champions League Group Stage Draw," 28 Aug. 2019 The results for Fantasy are not reflective of our robust standards and dedicated commitment to our guests’ health and safety. Leada Gore |, al, "Carnival Fantasy, based in Mobile, fails health inspection; flies, improper sneeze guards cited," 9 Aug. 2019 Kukawka also recommends keeping feeders and birdbaths away from windows and other reflective surfaces., "Cleveland Metroparks partner with Ohio Lights Out to promote bird-friendly buildings," 2 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of reflective

1627, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for reflective

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reflective

The first known use of reflective was in 1627

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More Definitions for reflective



English Language Learners Definition of reflective

: causing light, sound, or heat to move away : reflecting light, sound, or heat
: relating to or caused by light that reflects off a surface
: thinking carefully about something


re·​flec·​tive | \ ri-ˈflek-tiv How to pronounce reflective (audio) \

Medical Definition of reflective

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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More from Merriam-Webster on reflective

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with reflective

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reflective

Spanish Central: Translation of reflective

Nglish: Translation of reflective for Spanish Speakers

Comments on reflective

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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