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 Yes, everyone was older and age brings perspective, but Catherine thinks the more reflective mood was brought on by the pandemic. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on high school reunions," 19 Oct. 2020 Rather than leave people out, fashion is meant to be a mirror, reflective of the times. Georgia Murray,, "JW Anderson X Uniqlo Is Here To Save Autumn," 15 Oct. 2020 Is that mind-set a little reflective of these COVID times? Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Dylan O'Brien on 'Love and Monsters,' canine co-stars and getting out the vote: 'It's our duty as humans'," 14 Oct. 2020 The first completely open even-numbered year for both teams isn’t until 2032, at which point the thought of rescheduling the 2020 game is more one-off than reflective of the original series. oregonlive, "Oregon working to reschedule canceled 2020 meeting with Ohio State, but ‘it’s complicated’," 9 Oct. 2020 California will soon draw juries from a larger group of people who are more reflective of the state’s population as whole, including people of color and low-income residents. Dustin Gardiner,, "Newsom signs bill designed to add more people of color on California juries," 29 Sep. 2020 Maybe exploring television's failures would require a more reflective awards show. Darren Franich,, "A pretty good Emmys made a poor case for TV’s importance, but at least we could watch Watchmen: Review," 21 Sep. 2020 That’s reflective of the outlook that refiners have of the need for refined products in anticipation of future demand, said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at Tortoise. Andres Guerra Luz,, "Oil Edges Up With Traders Assessing U.S. Gulf Hurricane Impact," 28 Aug. 2020 To produce seed reflective of the parent, plant only one variety of vegetable within the plants’ pollination range. Begin saving seeds from easy and reliable types like peppers, melons and winter squash. Jodi Bay, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: How to save seeds to re-create next season’s vegetables," 17 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for reflective

Time Traveler

The first known use of reflective was in 1627

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Statistics for reflective

Last Updated

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reflective.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for reflective


How to pronounce reflective (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reflective

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reflective

Nglish: Translation of reflective for Spanish Speakers

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