reflexive

adjective
re·​flex·​ive | \ ri-ˈflek-siv How to pronounce reflexive (audio) \

Definition of reflexive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

reflexive

noun

Definition of reflexive (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from reflexive

Adjective

reflexively adverb
reflexiveness noun
reflexivity \ ˌrē-​ˌflek-​ˈsi-​və-​tē How to pronounce reflexive (audio) , ri-​ \ noun

Examples of reflexive in a Sentence

Adjective In “I hurt myself,” the verb “hurt” is reflexive. In the sentence “We forced ourselves to finish the assignment,” the word “ourselves” is a reflexive pronoun. For many people, the reflexive response to this kind of demand is to say no. music that triggers reflexive toe tapping
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective While the two sides often differed in their approach, both opposed the militarism and reflexive interventionism that reigned in Washington, D.C. following the Cold War. Blaise Malley, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2022 This rhetoric, though unfortunate, might have been excused as reflexive hostility to the Trump administration — which, of course, outside of Title IX had a poor record on matters relating to procedural fairness. Kc Johnson, National Review, 20 Oct. 2021 Hersl’s legend is massive enough that his name becomes a reflexive punchline when attorney Nicole Steele (Wunmi Mosaku) asks Baltimore pols for an example of predatory policing as part of a federal civil rights investigation. Joshua Alston, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 The synthetic heave is a wan sight gag, a self-reflexive expression of one’s own artificiality. Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 The reflexive consideration is quarterback for a club currently mulling Drew Lock and Jacob Eason as its starting options. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 Other than reflexive partisanship, there's no reason why more shouldn't join this time around. Elie Honig, CNN, 21 Mar. 2022 The reflexive consideration is quarterback for a club currently mulling Drew Lock and Jacob Eason as its starting options. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 The reflexive consideration is quarterback for a club currently mulling Drew Lock and Jacob Eason as its starting options. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Adjective

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Noun

1866, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reflexive

Adjective

Medieval Latin reflexivus, from Latin reflexus

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Time Traveler for reflexive

Time Traveler

The first known use of reflexive was in 1615

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Dictionary Entries Near reflexive

reflexism

reflexive

reflexive pronoun

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Statistics for reflexive

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reflexive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reflexive. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reflexive

reflexive

adjective
re·​flex·​ive | \ ri-ˈflek-siv How to pronounce reflexive (audio) \

Medical Definition of reflexive

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reflexive

Nglish: Translation of reflexive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reflexive for Arabic Speakers

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