[ ri-flekt ]
See synonyms for reflect on
verb (used with object)
  1. to cast back (light, heat, sound, etc.) from a surface: The mirror reflected the light onto the wall.

  2. to give back or show an image of; mirror.

  1. (of an act or its result) to serve to cast or bring (credit, discredit, etc.) on its performer.

  2. to reproduce; show: followers reflecting the views of the leader.

  3. to throw or cast back; cause to return or rebound: Her bitterness reflects gloom on all her family.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be turned or cast back, as light.

  2. to cast back light, heat, etc.

  1. to be reflected or mirrored.

  2. to give back or show an image.

  3. to think, ponder, or meditate: to reflect on one's virtues and faults.

  4. to serve or tend to bring reproach or discredit by association: His crimes reflected on the whole community.

  5. to serve to give a particular aspect or impression: The test reflects well on your abilities.

Origin of reflect

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English reflecten, from Latin reflectere “to bend back,” equivalent to re- re- + flectere “to bend”

synonym study For reflect

10. See study.

Other words for reflect

Other words from reflect

  • re·flect·ed·ly, adverb
  • re·flect·ed·ness, noun
  • re·flect·i·bil·i·ty [ri-flek-tuh-bil-i-tee], /rɪˌflɛk təˈbɪl ɪ ti/, noun
  • re·flect·i·ble, adjective
  • in·ter·re·flect, verb
  • mis·re·flect·, verb
  • non·re·flect·ed, adjective
  • well-re·flect·ed, adjective

Words Nearby reflect Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use reflect in a sentence

  • He was too drowsy to hold the thought more than a moment in his mind, much less to reflect upon it.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
  • It goes far to reconciling me to being a woman when I reflect that I am thus in no danger of ever marrying one.

    Pearls of Thought | Maturin M. Ballou
  • And as bronze reflects the light, her mentality seemed to reflect all the cold lights in her nature.

    Bella Donna | Robert Hichens
  • Gwynne made a wry face as he sat down before the dressing-table that he might reflect his visage while he brushed his hair.

    Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
  • This accident led his parents to reflect upon the childs incurable tendency and consider the question of his musical education.

British Dictionary definitions for reflect


/ (rɪˈflɛkt) /

  1. to undergo or cause to undergo a process in which light, other electromagnetic radiation, sound, particles, etc, are thrown back after impinging on a surface

  2. (of a mirror, etc) to form an image of (something) by reflection

  1. (tr) to show or express: his tactics reflect his desire for power

  2. (tr) to bring as a consequence: the success of the project reflected great credit on all the staff

  3. (intr ; foll by on or upon) to cause to be regarded in a specified way: her behaviour reflects well on her

  4. (intr ; foll by on or upon) to cast dishonour, discredit, etc (on): his conduct reflects on his parents

  5. (intr usually foll by on) to think, meditate, or ponder

Origin of reflect

C15: from Latin reflectere to bend back, from re- + flectere to bend; see flex

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012