Also especially British, re·flex·ion.

Origin of reflection

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin reflexiōn- (stem of reflexiō) a bending back, equivalent to Latin reflex(us) (see reflex) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsre·flec·tion·al, adjectivere·flec·tion·less, adjectivein·ter·re·flec·tion, nounnon·re·flec·tion, nouno·ver·re·flec·tion, nounself-re·flec·tion, nounsu·per·re·flec·tion, noun
Can be confuseddiffraction diffusion reflection rarefaction refraction

Synonyms for reflection Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reflection

Contemporary Examples of reflection

Historical Examples of reflection

British Dictionary definitions for reflection


less commonly reflexion


the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected
something reflected or the image so produced, as by a mirror
careful or long consideration or thought
implicit or explicit attribution of discredit or blame
maths a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed or which changes the sign of one of the variables
anatomy the bending back of a structure or part upon itself
Derived Formsreflectional or reflexional, adjective
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 reflection

late 14c., reflexion, in reference to surfaces throwing back light or heat, from Late Latin reflexionem (nominative reflexio) "a reflection," literally "a bending back," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin reflectere "to bend back, bend backwards, turn away," from re- "back" (see re-) + flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Of the mind, from 1670s. Meaning "remark made after turning back one's thought on some subject" is from 1640s. Spelling with -ct- recorded from late 14c., established 18c., by influence of the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for reflection




The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.
Something, such as light, radiant heat, sound, or an image, that is reflected.
The folding of a membrane from the wall of a cavity over an organ and back to the wall.
The folds so made.
Mental concentration; careful consideration.
A thought or an opinion resulting from such consideration.
Related formsre•flection•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for reflection



The change in direction of a wave, such as a light or sound wave, away from a boundary the wave encounters. Reflected waves remain in their original medium rather than entering the medium they encounter.♦ According to the law of reflection, the angle of reflection of a reflected wave is equal to its angle of incidence. Compare refraction. See more at wave.
Something, such as sound, light, or heat, that is reflected.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for reflection


A bouncing of light off a surface. People see themselves in mirrors through reflection. (Compare refraction.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.