1

reflexive

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adjective re·flex·ive \ ri-ˈflek-siv \

Definition of reflexive

1 a :directed or turned back on itself; also :overtly and usually ironically reflecting conventions of genre or form
  • a reflexive novel
b :marked by or capable of reflection :reflective
2 :of, relating to, characterized by, or being a relation that exists between an entity and itself
  • the relation "is equal to" is reflexive but the relation "is the father of" is not
3 :of, relating to, or constituting an action (as in "he perjured himself") directed back on the agent or the grammatical subject
4 :characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior

reflexively

adverb

reflexiveness

noun

reflexivity

play \ˌrē-ˌflek-ˈsi-və-tē, ri-\ noun

Examples of reflexive in a Sentence

  1. In I hurt myself, the verb hurt is reflexive.

  2. In the sentence We forced ourselves to finish the assignment, the word ourselves is a reflexive pronoun.

  3. For many people, the reflexive response to this kind of demand is to say no.

  4. music that triggers reflexive toe tapping

Recent Examples of reflexive from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of reflexive

Medieval Latin reflexivus, from Latin reflexus


2

reflexive

noun

Definition of reflexive

Recent Examples of reflexive from the Web

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

First Known Use of reflexive

1866

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


REFLEXIVE Defined for English Language Learners

reflexive

play
adjective

Definition of reflexive for English Language Learners

  • grammar : showing that the action in a sentence or clause happens to the person or thing that does the action

  • : happening or done without thinking as a reaction to something


Medical Dictionary

reflexive

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adjective re·flex·ive \ ri-ˈflek-siv \

medical Definition of reflexive

:characterized by habitual and unthinking behavior; also :relating to or consisting of a reflex

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