What does reflect mean?

Definitions for reflect

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word reflect.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reflectverb

    manifest or bring back

    "This action reflects his true beliefs"

  2. chew over, think over, meditate, ponder, excogitate, contemplate, muse, reflect, mull, mull over, ruminate, speculateverb

    reflect deeply on a subject

    "I mulled over the events of the afternoon"; "philosophers have speculated on the question of God for thousands of years"; "The scientist must stop to observe and start to excogitate"

  3. reflect, reverberateverb

    to throw or bend back (from a surface)

    "Sound is reflected well in this auditorium"

  4. reflect, shineverb

    be bright by reflecting or casting light

    "Drive carefully--the wet road reflects"

  5. reflectverb

    show an image of

    "her sunglasses reflected his image"

  6. reflectverb

    give evidence of a certain behavior

    "His lack of interest in the project reflects badly on him"

  7. reflectverb

    give evidence of the quality of

    "The mess in his dorm room reflects on the student"


  1. reflectverb

    To bend back (light, etc.) from a surface.

    A mirror reflects the light that shines on it.

  2. reflectverb

    To be bent back (light, etc.) from a surface.

    The moonlight reflected from the surface of water.

  3. reflectverb

    To mirror, or show the image of something.

    The shop window reflected his image as he walked past.

  4. reflectverb

    To be mirrored.

    His image reflected from the shop window as he walked past.

  5. reflectverb

    To agree with; to closely follow.

    Entries in English dictionaries aim to reflect common usage.

  6. reflectverb

    To give evidence of someone's or something's character etc.

  7. reflectverb

    To think seriously; to ponder or consider.

    People do that sort of thing every day, without ever stopping to reflect on the consequences.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To REFLECTverb

    To throw back.

    Etymology: reflechir, Fr. reflecto, Lat.

    We, his gather’d beams
    Reflected, may with matter sere foment. John Milton.

    Bodies close together reflect their own colour. Dryden.

  2. To Reflectverb

    In dead men’s sculls, and in those holes,
    Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
    As ’twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems. William Shakespeare.

    Inanimate matter moves always in a straight line, and never reflects in an angle, nor bends in a circle, which is a continual reflection, unless either by some external impulse, or by an intrinsick principle of gravity. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    The imagination casts thoughts in our way, and forces the understanding to reflect upon them. Brian Duppa.

    In every action reflect upon the end; and in your undertaking it, consider why you do it. Taylor.

    Who saith, who could such ill events expect?
    With shame on his own counsels doth reflect. John Denham.

    When men are grown up, and reflect on their own minds, they cannot find any thing more ancient there, than those opinions which were taught them before their memory began to keep a register of their actions. John Locke.

    It is hard, that any part of my land should be settled upon one who has used me so ill; and yet I could not see a sprig of any bough of this whole walk of trees, but I should reflect upon her and her severity. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    Let the king dismiss his woes,
    Reflecting on her fair renown;
    And take the cypress from his brows,
    To put his wonted laurels on. Matthew Prior.

    Into myself my reason’s eye I turn’d;
    And as I much reflected, much I mourn’d. Matthew Prior.

    Neither do I reflect in the least upon the memory of his late majesty, whom I entirely acquit of any imputation. Jonathan Swift.

    Errors of wives reflect on husbands still. Dryden.


  1. reflect

    Reflect refers to the act of bouncing off light, heat, or any form of energy or particles from a surface. It can also mean to think, ponder, or meditate deeply about something. Additionally, it can signify the representation or expression of something in a certain way. It is commonly used in physics, psychology, and philosophy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reflect

    to bend back; to give a backwa/d turn to; to throw back; especially, to cause to return after striking upon any surface; as, a mirror reflects rays of light; polished metals reflect heat

  2. Reflect

    to give back an image or likeness of; to mirror

  3. Reflectverb

    to throw back light, heat, or the like; to return rays or beams

  4. Reflectverb

    to be sent back; to rebound as from a surface; to revert; to return

  5. Reflectverb

    to throw or turn back the thoughts upon anything; to contemplate. Specifically: To attend earnestly to what passes within the mind; to attend to the facts or phenomena of consciousness; to use attention or earnest thought; to meditate; especially, to think in relation to moral truth or rules

  6. Reflectverb

    to cast reproach; to cause censure or dishonor

  7. Etymology: [L. reflectere, reflexum; pref. re- re- + flectere to bend or turn. See Flexible, and cf. Reflex, v.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reflect

    rē-flekt′, v.t. to bend back: to throw back after striking upon any surface, as light, &c.—v.i. to be thrown back, as light, heat, &c.: to revolve in the mind: to consider attentively or deeply: to ponder: to cast reproach or censure (with on, upon).—p.adj. Reflect′ed, cast or thrown back: turned upward: reflexed.—adjs. Reflect′ible, capable of being reflected; Reflect′ing, throwing back light, heat, &c.: given to reflection: thoughtful.—adv. Reflect′ingly, with reflection: with censure.—Reflecting telescope, a form of telescope in which the image of the object to be viewed is produced by a concave reflector instead of a lens, as in the refracting telescope. [Fr.,—L. reflectĕre, reflexumre-, again, flectĕre, to bend.]

Editors Contribution

  1. reflect

    To create proof of a behavior.

    The unity did reflect on earth of everyone working together.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 5, 2020  

  2. reflect

    To manifest truth.

    The voice of the people did reflect the with their unity being reflected around them.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 5, 2020  

  3. reflect

    To review our life, choices, aspirations, goals and thoughts.

    As human beings we take a moment to reflect and affirm our unity, love, relationships, goals and aspirations.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 30, 2020  

  4. reflect

    Visual color.

    The picture did reflect the scene of their wedding day.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 17, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Reflect

    Reflex vs Reflect -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Reflex and Reflect.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reflect' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2654

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reflect' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4045

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reflect' in Verbs Frequency: #202

How to pronounce reflect?

How to say reflect in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflect in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of reflect in a Sentence

  1. Robin Koval:

    A lot of young people don't like smoking. ... I don't think there's a strong majority of kids saying 'Put more tobacco in these games, we really like that,' i'm kind of surprised. Why aren't people designing games to reflect thoughts of young people?

  2. Angus Gluskie:

    Wynn's actions are more likely to reflect a genuine frustration with a breach of the confidential nature of the discussions than an attempt to add pressure to the negotiation.

  3. Another Tea Party-backed Republican senator:

    The positions he takes as leader, which might be of concern to some conservatives, often reflect where the center of gravity is in our conference - and not reflect where he is.

  4. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:

    Whether you agree or whether you disagree with the jury's ultimate verdict, our reaction needs to be one of respect in Baltimore's neighborhoods, and the residents and businesses who make up our city should reflect that respect.

  5. Idris Elba:

    When you don't reflect the real world, too much talent gets trashed. Thrown on the scrapheap, talent is everywhere, opportunity isn't. And talent can't reach opportunity.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reflect

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • عكسArabic
  • zrcadlit, odrazit, odrážetCzech
  • afspejleDanish
  • spiegeln, sich spiegeln, zurückspiegeln, sinnen, widerspiegeln, reflektieren, nachdenken, gespiegelt werdenGerman
  • speguliEsperanto
  • recapacitar, reflexionar, cavilar, reflejarSpanish
  • منعکس کردنPersian
  • heijastaa, pohtia, vastata, heijastua, miettiä, pohdiskella, kuvastua, kuvastaaFinnish
  • réfléchir, refléterFrench
  • léiriúIrish
  • saoil, cnuasaich, meòraich, smaoinichScottish Gaelic
  • ביטא, חשב, הרהר, החזיר, שיקףHebrew
  • प्रतिबिंबितHindi
  • riflettereItalian
  • 反射する, 映す, 反映するJapanese
  • ជះស្រមោល, ធ្វើឲ្យឃើញស្រមោល, បញ្ចាំងឲ្យឃើញKhmer
  • 반사하다Korean
  • videoLatin
  • tenke over, speile, reflektereNorwegian
  • weerspiegelen, weerkaatsenDutch
  • tenkje over, reflektere, spegleNorwegian Nynorsk
  • refletirPortuguese
  • отразить, размыслить, отражаться, отразиться, размышлять, отражатьRussian
  • återkastaSwedish
  • పరావర్తనం చెందు, ప్రతిబింబిస్తాయిTelugu
  • yansıtmakTurkish

Get even more translations for reflect »


Find a translation for the reflect definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"reflect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reflect>.

Discuss these reflect definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for reflect? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    (of especially persons) lacking sense or understanding or judgment
    A abrupt
    B reassuring
    C witless
    D handsome

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for reflect: