- Also called reflex act.movement caused by a reflex response.
- Also called reflex action.the entire physiological process activating such movement.
verb (used with object)
Origin of reflex
- an immediate involuntary response, esp one that is innate, such as coughing or removal of the hand from a hot surface, evoked by a given stimulus
- (as modifier)a reflex action See also reflex arc
- a mechanical response to a particular situation, involving no conscious decision
- (as modifier)a reflex response
Word Origin for reflex
c.1500, "reflection of light," from verb reflex meaning "refract, deflect" (late 14c.), from Late Latin reflexus "a bending back," noun use of past participle of reflectere (see reflection). Meaning "involuntary nerve stimulation" first recorded 1877, from reflex action (1833).
An action or movement not controlled by conscious thought. A reflex may be anything from a hiccup to the involuntary response of a body part, such as the action that occurs in the knee-jerk reflex.