What does reflex mean?

Definitions for reflex
ˈri flɛks; rɪˈflɛksre·flex

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reflex, reflex response, reflex action, instinctive reflex, innate reflex, inborn reflex, unconditioned reflex, physiological reactionadjective

    an automatic instinctive unlearned reaction to a stimulus

  2. automatic, reflex(a), reflexiveadjective

    without volition or conscious control

    "the automatic shrinking of the pupils of the eye in strong light"; "a reflex knee jerk"; "sneezing is reflexive"


  1. reflexnoun

    An automatic response to a simple stimulus which does not require mental processing.

  2. reflexnoun

    A corresponding phoneme in a daughter language.

  3. reflexverb

    to bend, turn back or reflect

  4. reflexverb

    to respond to a stimulus

  5. reflexadjective

    Bent, turned back or reflected.

  6. reflexadjective

    Produced automatically by a stimulus.

  7. reflexadjective

    Having greater than 180 degrees but less than 360 degrees.

  8. Etymology: From reflexus, past participle of reflectere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Reflexadjective

    Directed backward.

    Etymology: reflexus, Lat.

    The motions of my mind are as obvious to the reflex act of the soul, or the turning of the intellectual eye inward upon its own actions, as the passions of my sense are obvious to my sense; I see the object, and I perceive that I see it. Matthew Hale.

    The order and beauty of the inanimate parts of the world, the discernible ends of them do evince by a reflex argument, that it is the workmanship, not of blind mechanism or blinder chance, but of an intelligent and benign agent. Richard Bentley.

  2. Reflexnoun


    Etymology: reflexus, Lat.

    There was no other way for angels to sin, but by reflex of their understandings upon themselves. Richard Hooker.

    I’ll say yon gray is not the morning’s eye,
    ’Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow. William Shakespeare.


  1. Reflex

    In biology, a reflex, or reflex action, is an involuntary, unplanned sequence or action and nearly instantaneous response to a stimulus. Reflexes are found with varying levels of complexity in organisms with a nervous system. A reflex occurs via neural pathways in the nervous system called reflex arcs. A stimulus initiates a neural signal, which is carried to a synapse. The signal is then transferred across the synapse to a motor neuron which evokes a target response. These neural signals do not always travel to the brain, so many reflexes are an automatic response to a stimulus that does not receive or need conscious thought.Many reflexes are fine-tuned to increase organism survival and self-defense. This is observed in reflexes such as the startle reflex, which provides an automatic response to an unexpected stimuli, and the feline righting reflex, which reorients a cat's body when falling to ensure safe landing. The simplest type of reflex, a short-latency reflex, has a single synapse, or junction, in the signaling pathway. Long-latency reflexes produce nerve signals that are transduced across multiple synapses before generating the reflex response.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reflexadjective

    directed back; attended by reflection; retroactive; introspective

  2. Reflexadjective

    produced in reaction, in resistance, or in return

  3. Reflexadjective

    of, pertaining to, or produced by, stimulus or excitation without the necessary intervention of consciousness

  4. Reflexnoun

    reflection; the light reflected from an illuminated surface to one in shade

  5. Reflexnoun

    an involuntary movement produced by reflex action

  6. Reflexverb

    to reflect

  7. Reflexverb

    to bend back; to turn back

  8. Etymology: [L. reflexus, p. p. of reflectere: cf. F. rflexe. See Reflect.]


  1. ReFLEX

    ReFLEX is a wireless protocol developed by Motorola, used for two-way paging, messaging, and low-bandwidth data. It is based on the FLEX one-way paging protocol, adding capabilities for multiple forward channels, multiple return channels, and roaming. It originally came in two variants, ReFLEX25 and ReFLEX50. ReFLEX50 was originally developed to support a messaging service launched by MTEL in the mid 1990s, while ReFLEX25 was developed several years later to provide an upgrade path for traditional one-way paging carriers. The 50 and 25 signified 50 KHz and 25KHz channel spacing, although in reality both variants supported flexible channel configurations. The two variants were unified into a single protocol with version 2.7, which was released simply as ReFLEX 2.7. Devices compliant with ReFLEX 2.7 are backwards compatible with both ReFLEX25 and ReFLEX50 networks, with several new features to improve roaming, performance, and interoperability between different networks. ReFLEX systems support forward channel speeds of 1600, 3200, and 6400 bits per second, and return channel speeds of 800, 1600, 6400, and 9600 bits per second. Like FLEX, ReFLEX is synchronous, based on 1.875 second frames and 4-level FSK modulation.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reflex

    rē′fleks, adj. bent or turned back: reflected: reciprocal: acting and reacting, as reflex influence: (physiol.) said of certain movements which take place independent of the will, being sent back from a nerve-centre in answer to a stimulus from the surface: (paint.) illuminated by light reflected from another part of the same picture.—n. reflection: light reflected from an illuminated surface: a copy.—v.t. Reflex′, to bend back.—p.adj. Reflexed′ (bot.), bent backward or downward.—n. Reflexibil′ity.—adjs. Reflex′ible, Reflect′ible, that may be reflected or thrown back.—n. Reflex′ity.—adj. Reflex′ive, turning backward: reflective: respecting the past: relating to a verb in which the action turns back upon the subject, as I bethought myself.—adv. Reflex′ively.—n. Reflex′iveness, the state or quality of being reflexive.—adv. Rē′flexly (also Reflex′ly).—adj. Reflexogen′ic, tending to increase reflex motions.

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Reflex

    An involuntary movement or exercise of function in a part, excited in response to a stimulus applied to the periphery and transmitted to the brain or spinal cord.


  1. Reflex

    Reflex Software, Inc. develops and provides prototype app development software and technology to mobile app developers. The company’s offerings include Reflex and DAIO. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Editors Contribution

  1. Reflex

    The first immediate or involuntary response to something.

    Her quick reflexes saved her from the burns caused by spilling the boiling water all over.

    Submitted by anonymous on March 26, 2019  

Suggested Resources

  1. Reflex

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

How to pronounce reflex?

How to say reflex in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflex in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reflex in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of reflex in a Sentence

  1. Tim Soutphommasane:

    Obviously that's no longer in place, but the sentiment remains there under the surface. There remains a strong reflex of closing down our borders to any perceived threat.

  2. William Crum:

    I didn't try to hurt anybody. It was a reflex from the pain.

  3. Mark Zuckerberg:

    I'll have to understand what they actually would intend to do, but in general I think a government choosing to censor a platform because they're worried about censorship doesn't exactly strike me as the right reflex there.

  4. Jonathan Guilmette:

    I don’t know what was his intention, it is really hard to judge what’s the intention. I don’t know if he tried to grab the skates or if he is just trying to hold onto something like a reflex – there are so many hands all over in our sport. That was a reflex thing more than trying to trip over someone else.

  5. Scott Caulfield:

    Jumping falls into a type of exercise we call plyometrics, these exercises involve quicker, shorter motions that stimulate the stretch reflex. That reflex is responsible for explosive movement, like an outfielder reacting to a fly ball.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reflex

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for reflex »


Find a translation for the reflex 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:


"reflex." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reflex>.

Discuss these reflex definitions with the community:

1 Comment
  • Eric W Bess
    Eric W Bess
    LikeReply7 years ago

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

Image or illustration of


Credit »

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?

pose a threat to; present a danger to
  • A. conceal
  • B. distinguish
  • C. blur
  • D. jeopardize

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for reflex: