reflex

noun
re·​flex | \ ˈrē-ˌfleks How to pronounce reflex (audio) \

Definition of reflex

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a archaic : reflected heat, light, or color
b : a mirrored image
c : a copy exact in essential or peculiar features
2a : an automatic and often inborn response to a stimulus that typically involves a nerve impulse passing inward from a receptor to the spinal cord and then passing outward from the spinal cord to an effector (such as a muscle or gland) without reaching the level of consciousness and often without passing to the brain the knee-jerk reflex
b : the process that culminates in a reflex and comprises reception, transmission, and reaction

called also reflex action

c reflexes plural : the power of acting or responding with adequate speed
d : a way of thinking or behaving
3 : a linguistic element (such as a word or sound) or system (such as writing) that is derived from a prior and especially an older element or system boat is the reflex of Old English bāt

reflex

adjective

Definition of reflex (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : directed back on the mind or its operations : introspective
2 : reflexed
3 : produced or carried out in reaction, resistance, or return
4 of an angle : being between 180° and 360°
5 : of, relating to, or produced by a reflex without intervention of consciousness

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Other Words from reflex

Adjective

reflexly adverb

Examples of reflex in a Sentence

Noun reflexes such as swallowing and blinking Disagreeing with my suggestions has become almost a reflex for him. an athlete with great reflexes My reflexes are slower now that I'm older.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The age-old adage that cats always land on their feet perplexed scientists for centuries, and the exact mechanics of the animal's righting reflex are still not completely understood. Rob Picheta, CNN, 14 May 2021 Such coverage, putting hands in taxpayers’ pockets, would be irresistible to some business stakeholders, and would be easily misused given the flash policy reflex and the drive to insure the uninsurable. Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Forbes, 24 May 2021 For weeks afterward, the taste festered in my thoughts, goading my gag reflex. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021 Now the same culture monitors who had ignored MVP make reparations for their neglect, no doubt a reflex of the current white-shaming movement. Armond White, National Review, 7 May 2021 An involuntary reflex — the vasovagal response — plunges the pulse and heart rate at the sight of blood, injury or injection, and reduced blood to the brain can cause people to lose consciousness. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2021 Again, this can happen for a multitude of reasons—morning sickness, tender gums, exhaustion, or a more sensitive gag reflex. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, 30 Apr. 2021 The best of them turn by reflex to a man who grew up in Wilmington, on the North Carolina coast, son of a homemaker mother and an engineer father whose obsession was automobiles. Guy Trebay, Town & Country, 29 Mar. 2021 Single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras have been around since the 1860s. Brent Rose, Popular Mechanics, 7 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There's the urine sample jar that won't open, the blood pressure gauge that insists on farting, and the reflex test that causes the wrong knee to react. Scientific American, 20 Nov. 2013 Nikon has long made some of the best optics in the world, but this P-Tactical Spur is the company's first foray into reflex sights. The Editors, Outdoor Life, 1 June 2020 One reason the finger must stay off the trigger is that the reflex action of the finger to surprise could cause a loaded gun to fire. Christine Cunningham, Alaska Dispatch News, 18 July 2017 Sauvignon blancs and grüner veltliners are reflex choices and would be fine. David Tanis, New York Times, 17 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reflex.' 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 reflex

Noun

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reflex

Noun

Latin reflexus, past participle of reflectere to reflect

Adjective

Latin reflexus

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Learn More About reflex

Statistics for reflex

Last Updated

8 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reflex.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflex. Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for reflex

reflex

noun

English Language Learners Definition of reflex

: an action or movement of the body that happens automatically as a reaction to something
: something that you do without thinking as a reaction to something
: the natural ability to react quickly

reflex

noun
re·​flex | \ ˈrē-ˌfleks How to pronounce reflex (audio) \

Kids Definition of reflex

1 : an action or movement that is made automatically without thinking as a reaction to a stimulus
2 reflexes plural : the natural ability to react quickly A driver needs good reflexes.

reflex

noun
re·​flex | \ ˈrē-ˌfleks How to pronounce reflex (audio) \

Medical Definition of reflex

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : reflected heat, light, or color
b : a mirrored image
2a : an automatic and often inborn response to a stimulus that involves a nerve impulse passing inward from a receptor to the spinal cord and thence outward to an effector (as a muscle or gland) without reaching the level of consciousness and often without passing to the brain the knee-jerk reflex
b : the process that culminates in a reflex and comprises reception, transmission, and reaction
c reflexes plural : the power of acting or responding with adequate speed

reflex

adjective

Medical Definition of reflex (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : bent, turned, or directed back : reflected
2 : of, relating to, or produced by a reflex without intervention of consciousness

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