What does reflection mean?

Definitions for reflection
rɪˈflɛk ʃənre·flec·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. Reflection

    Reflection is a song written and produced by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel for the soundtrack of Disneys 1998 animated film Mulan. In the film, the song is performed by Tony Award winner, Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga as Fa Mulan. An accompanying music video for "Reflection" was included as a bonus to the Disney Gold Classic Collection DVD release of the film in 1998. A single version of the song was recorded by American singer Christina Aguilera and became her debut single. She was 17 at the time it was released. The single's commercial success funded Aguilera's debut album from RCA, in addition to gaining her credibility amongst established writers and producers. Releases of the single were limited, which resulted in the track charting only on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. An accompanying music video for the song was included on the DVD release of Mulan. Aguilera has performed the track on four televised performances, including at the CBS This Morning show, which saw her gain the attention of songwriter Diane Warren. A later, the remix by Eric Kupper was released.


  1. reflection

    Reflection is the process of thinking deeply about a particular experience, event, or situation in order to gain insight and understanding. It involves intentionally examining one's thoughts, emotions, and actions to identify patterns, underlying beliefs, and the impact of those on oneself and others. It often includes analyzing and evaluating personal experiences to learn from them, make meaning, and potentially make changes for personal growth and development. Reflection can take various forms, such as journaling, meditation, or engaging in deep conversations with others.

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. David Hume:

    Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding.

  2. Ian Nakamoto:

    It's tough to get excited about the commodities, with Canada having so many of them, given what's going on with China, Greece, commodities depend on robust world wide demand, and we don't have that right now...It's affecting things like Canadian banks, which I always view as a reflection of what's going on with the economy and the spill-over effects.

  3. Josie Rock:

    I was just taking pictures of him and the lighting happened to change in our room, the flash caught the reflection and his eye was glowing white.

  4. David Holland:

    Any time a member of a group that has often been marginalized achieves this kind of prominence and attracts this kind of spotlight, it creates a moment of self-reflection over what it means to participate at the highest level of government and how they square that with the faith.

  5. The State Department:

    We will continue to advocate for media freedom as a reflection of our democratic values.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reflection

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"reflection." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reflection>.

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    a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
    • A. purse
    • B. humility
    • C. confectionery
    • D. slip

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