What does reflection mean?

Definitions for reflection
rɪˈflɛk ʃənre·flec·tion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word reflection.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. contemplation, reflection, reflexion, rumination, musing, thoughtfulnessnoun

    a calm, lengthy, intent consideration

  2. reflection, reflexionnoun

    the phenomenon of a propagating wave (light or sound) being thrown back from a surface

  3. expression, manifestation, reflection, reflexionnoun

    expression without words

    "tears are an expression of grief"; "the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition"

  4. mirror image, reflection, reflexionnoun

    a likeness in which left and right are reversed

  5. reflection, reflexionnoun

    the image of something as reflected by a mirror (or other reflective material)

    "he studied his reflection in the mirror"

  6. reflectionnoun

    (mathematics) a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed

  7. observation, reflection, reflexionnoun

    a remark expressing careful consideration

  8. reflection, reflexion, reflectivitynoun

    the ability to reflect beams or rays


  1. reflectionnoun

    The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected.

  2. reflectionnoun

    The property of a propagated wave being thrown back from a surface (such as a mirror).

  3. reflectionnoun

    Something, such as an image, that is reflected.

    The dog barked at his own reflection in the mirror.

  4. reflectionnoun

    Careful thought or consideration.

    After careful reflection, I have decided not to vote for that proposition.

  5. reflectionnoun

    An implied criticism.

    It is a reflection on his character that he never wavered in his resolve.

  6. reflectionnoun

    The process or mechanism of determining the capabilities of an object at run-time.

  7. Etymology: From reflexion, reflection, and its source reflexio, from the participle stem of reflectere. The current spelling is influenced by reflect.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Reflectionnoun

    Etymology: from reflect: thence I think reflexion less proper: reflexion, Fr. reflexus, Lat.

    The eye sees not itself,
    But by reflection from other things. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    If the sun’s light consisted but of one sort of rays, there would be but one colour, and it would be impossible to produce any new by reflections or refractions. George Cheyne.

    Inanimate matter moves always in a straight line, nor ever reflects in an angle or circle, which is a continual reflection, unless by some external impulse. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    As the sun in water we can bear,
    Yet not the sun, but his reflection there;
    So let us view her here, in what she was,
    And take her image in this watry glass. Dryden.

    The three first parts I dedicate to my old friends, to take off those melancholy reflections, which the sense of age, infirmity and death may give them. John Denham.

    This dreadful image so possess’d her mind,
    She ceas’d all farther hope; and now began
    To make reflection on th’ unhappy man. Dryden.

    Job’s reflections on his once flourishing estate, did at the same time afflict and encourage him. Francis Atterbury.

    What wounding reproaches of soul must he feel, from the reflections on his own ingratitude. John Rogers, Sermons.

    Reflection is the perception of the operations of our own minds within us, as it is employed about the ideas it has got. John Locke.

    This delight grows and improves under thought and reflection; and while it exercises, does also endear itself to the mind; at the same time employing and inflaming the meditations. Robert South, Sermons.

    He dy’d; and oh! may no reflection shed
    Its pois’nous venom on the royal dead. Matthew Prior.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reflectionnoun

    the act of reflecting, or turning or sending back, or the state of being reflected

  2. Reflectionnoun

    the return of rays, beams, sound, or the like, from a surface. See Angle of reflection, below

  3. Reflectionnoun

    the reverting of the mind to that which has already occupied it; continued consideration; meditation; contemplation; hence, also, that operation or power of the mind by which it is conscious of its own acts or states; the capacity for judging rationally, especially in view of a moral rule or standard

  4. Reflectionnoun

    shining; brightness, as of the sun

  5. Reflectionnoun

    that which is produced by reflection

  6. Reflectionnoun

    an image given back from a reflecting surface; a reflected counterpart

  7. Reflectionnoun

    a part reflected, or turned back, at an angle; as, the reflection of a membrane

  8. Reflectionnoun

    result of meditation; thought or opinion after attentive consideration or contemplation; especially, thoughts suggested by truth

  9. Reflectionnoun

    censure; reproach cast

  10. Reflectionnoun

    the transference of an excitement from one nerve fiber to another by means of the nerve cells, as in reflex action. See Reflex action, under Reflex


  1. Reflection

    In computer science, reflection is the ability of a computer program to examine and modify the structure and behavior of an object at runtime. Reflection is most commonly used in high-level virtual machine programming languages like Smalltalk and scripting languages and also in manifestly typed or statically typed programming languages such as Java, ML, Haskell, C# and Scala.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reflection

    Reflexion, rē-flek′shun, n. the act of reflecting: the change of direction when a ray of light, &c., strikes upon a surface and is thrown back: the state of being reflected: that which is reflected: the action of the mind by which it is conscious of its own operations: attentive consideration: contemplation: censure or reproach: (anat.) the folding of a part, a fold.—adj. Reflect′ive, reflecting: considering the operations of the mind: exercising thought or reflection: (gram.) reciprocal.—adv. Reflect′ively.—ns. Reflect′iveness; Reflect′or, one who, or that which, reflects: a mirror or polished reflecting surface: a censurer.—adj. Reflect′ory.

Editors Contribution

  1. reflection

    1 ) the return of light or sound waves from a surface. 2) an image you see when looking into a mirror. 3) a behaviour or act the reveals someone's true nature is said to be a reflection of who they are. 4) careful thought and consideration, to think or ponder in a meaningful way, meditation. 5) an opinion formed or a remark made after careful consideration.

    Submitted by Soulwriter on June 2, 2021  

  2. reflection

    The act and process of to reflect.

    The reflection of the light through the window is so beautiful on the crystals it beams light.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 15, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reflection' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4464

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'reflection' in Nouns Frequency: #1563

How to pronounce reflection?

How to say reflection in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflection in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflection in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of reflection in a Sentence

  1. Guyton Jinkerson:

    Upon careful reflection we determined that this case should be resolved, we are pleased that the parties have been able to bring an end to this litigation.

  2. Melinda French Gates:

    It's a time of reflection, and at this point, I need to go forward, within the family, we'll heal the best that we can.

  3. Leo Anthony Celi:

    Skin tone will interfere with the reflection of light, we think that this is just the tip of the iceberg. I suspect that over the next year, we will have an abundance of papers showing how there are products that are in use for care that are themselves not objectively accurate across different demographics.

  4. Elissa Blount Moorhead.For Moorhead:

    I want to make work that's not just a reflection, but really an extension of who I am and who we may be, and when they walk through, they see something that is resonant and that reminds them I'm there, on the other side.

  5. Phil Orlando:

    The fact that you've got these millennials delaying life and not getting married and not having kids is not a function of the fact that they are completely different from every other generation, it's a reflection that they went to college and ran up debt and couldn't find a job. Now that the economy is starting to improve for these folks, household formations have literally gone vertical.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reflection

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for reflection »


Find a translation for the reflection 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:

Discuss these reflection definitions with the community:



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


    "reflection." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reflection>.

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

    Browse Definitions.net

    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!


    Are you a words master?

    without the natural or usual covering
    • A. abase
    • B. efface
    • C. denudate
    • D. famish

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for reflection: