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mirror

[mir-er]
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noun
  1. a reflecting surface, originally of polished metal but now usually of glass with a silvery, metallic, or amalgam backing.
  2. such a surface set into a frame, attached to a handle, etc., for use in viewing oneself or as an ornament.
  3. any reflecting surface, as the surface of calm water under certain lighting conditions.
  4. Optics. a surface that is either plane, concave, or convex and that reflects rays of light.
  5. something that gives a minutely faithful representation, image, or idea of something else: Gershwin's music was a mirror of its time.
  6. a pattern for imitation; exemplar: a man who was the mirror of fashion.
  7. a glass, crystal, or the like, used by magicians, diviners, etc.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to reflect in or as if in a mirror.
  2. to reflect as a mirror does.
  3. to mimic or imitate (something) accurately.
  4. to be or give a faithful representation, image, or idea of: Her views on politics mirror mine completely.
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adjective
  1. Music. (of a canon or fugue) capable of being played in retrograde or in inversion, as though read in a mirror placed beside or below the music.
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Idioms
  1. with mirrors, by or as if by magic.
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Origin of mirror

1175–1225; Middle English mirour < Old French mireo(u)r, equivalent to mir- (see mirage) + -eo(u)r < Latin -ātor -ator
Related formsmir·ror·like, adjectiveun·mir·rored, adjective
Can be confusedmere mère mirror

Synonyms

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

exemplifyrepresentdepictimitateechotypifymimicpersonifyepitomizeembodyfollowsymbolizeillustratespeculumreflectorshowemulatedoubleimageglass

Examples from the Web for mirror

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Over the seat is a mirror cut into small squares by wooden muntins.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • After that she must pin it on, and slip in to stand before his mirror and inspect the result.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Her stiff cap moved in the breeze as it swung from the corner of her mirror.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • "I feel an awful fool in it," he murmured, glancing at his reflection in the mirror.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The principle of the siphon recorder is exactly the inverse of the mirror galvanometer.


British Dictionary definitions for mirror

mirror

noun
  1. a surface, such as polished metal or glass coated with a metal film, that reflects light without diffusion and produces an image of an object placed in front of it
  2. such a reflecting surface mounted in a frame
  3. any reflecting surface
  4. a thing that reflects or depicts something elsethe press is a mirror of public opinion
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verb
  1. (tr) to reflect, represent, or depict faithfullyhe mirrors his teacher's ideals
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Derived Formsmirror-like, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French from mirer to look at, from Latin mīrārī to wonder at
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

Word Origin and History for mirror

n.

early 13c., from Old French mireoir "a reflecting glass, looking glass; observation, model, example," earlier miradoir (11c.), from mirer "look at" (oneself in a mirror), "observe, watch, contemplate," from Vulgar Latin *mirare "to look at," variant of Latin mirari "to wonder at, admire" (see miracle). Figurative usage is attested from c.1300. Used in divination since classical and biblical times; mirrors in modern England are the subject of at least 14 known superstitions, according to folklorists. Belief that breaking one brings bad luck is attested from 1777. The Spanish cognate, mirador (from mirar "to look, look at, behold"), has come to mean "watch tower." Mirror ball attested from 1968.

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v.

"to reflect," 1590s, from mirror (n.). Related: Mirrored; mirroring. The Middle English verb mirouren (early 15c.) meant "to be a model" (for conduct, behavior, etc.), while miren (mid-14c., from Old French mirer) meant "to look in a mirror."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mirror in Science

mirror

[mĭrər]
  1. An object that causes light or other radiation to be reflected from its surface, with little or no diffusion. Common mirrors consist of a thin sheet or film of metal, such as silver, behind or covering a glass pane. Mirrors are used extensively in telescopes, microscopes, lasers, fiber optics, measuring instruments, and many other devices. See more at reflection.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.