View synonyms for reflection


[ ri-flek-shuhn ]


  1. the act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way.
  2. an image; representation; counterpart.
  3. a fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration.

    Synonyms: rumination, thinking, study, cogitation, deliberation, meditation

  4. a thought occurring in consideration or meditation.
  5. an unfavorable remark or observation.

    Synonyms: criticism, reproach, aspersion, imputation

  6. the casting of some imputation or reproach.
  7. Physics, Optics.
    1. the return of light, heat, sound, etc., after striking a surface.
    2. something so reflected, as heat or especially light.
  8. Mathematics.
    1. (in a plane) the replacement of each point on one side of a line by the point symmetrically placed on the other side of the line.
    2. (in space) the replacement of each point on one side of a plane by the symmetric point on the other side of the plane.
  9. Anatomy. the bending or folding back of a part upon itself.


/ rɪˈflɛkʃən /


  1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected
  2. something reflected or the image so produced, as by a mirror
  3. careful or long consideration or thought
  4. implicit or explicit attribution of discredit or blame
  5. maths a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed or which changes the sign of one of the variables
  6. anatomy the bending back of a structure or part upon itself
“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


/ rĭ-flĕkshən /

  1. 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.
  2. ◆ According to the law of reflection, the angle of reflection of a reflected wave is equal to its angle of incidence.
  3. Compare refractionSee more at wave
  4. Something, such as sound, light, or heat, that is reflected.


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

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Derived Forms

  • reˈflectional, adjective
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Other Words From

  • re·flection·al adjective
  • re·flection·less adjective
  • inter·re·flection noun
  • nonre·flection noun
  • over·re·flection noun
  • self-re·flection noun
  • super·re·flection noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of reflection1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Late Latin reflexiōn-, stem of reflexiō “a bending back,” from Latin reflex(us) “bent back” (past participle of reflectere; reflect ) + -iō -ion
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Example Sentences

The KPIs you assign to your promotion strategy will be a unique reflection of your business goals, so it’s possible that your list ends up looking a bit different.

I believe in constant reflection both personally and professionally.

From Ozy

You feel familiar thoughts and impulses stir in you, and yet already you sense the effect of the mirrored reflection upon yourself, a reflection to which you are attracted, and from which, simultaneously, you recoil.

This gives you a background that contrasts with the space junk, which reflect light more brightly since they’re closer to Earth, so you no longer have to wait till twilight or pre-dawn to get sunlight reflection measurements.

The move “is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” the company said in a blog post.

From Quartz

The sickness in her mind was a reflection of the sickness of her life, a sickness created by her family and her society.

Before we get to all that, permit me a brief reflection on this matter of Steve Scalise.

A few minor notes, born of reflection: Traditionally, the best columns are dominated by politics—its most popular topic.

Like Lent, the season of Advent was a period of reflection and fasting, and items such as dairy and sugar were forbidden.

There was a fear growing inside of me that my imperfect bruised college experience was a reflection of my own damaged self.

Arrived at the dépôt, I discharged my porter, sat down and waited for the place to open, with ample leisure for reflection.

You speak with about as little reflection as we might expect from one of those children down there playing in the sand.

But he could not bear the reflection, and with fevered impatience, he hurried through the business of the morning.

Here he can inspect what he sees, say the reflection of the face of his mother or nurse, and compare it at once with the original.

You know the fable about the dog who dropped his meat in the water, trying to snap at its reflection?





reflecting telescopereflection density