Definition of reflect in English:


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  • 1with object (of a surface or body) throw back (heat, light, or sound) without absorbing it.

    ‘when the sun's rays hit the Earth a lot of the heat is reflected back into space’
    • ‘his eyes gleamed in the reflected light’
    • ‘The lightness or darkness of a color affects whether it can absorb or reflect heat and light.’
    • ‘Reflectance, on the other hand, is determined by how much of the surface is reflecting the light.’
    • ‘Venetian blinds, although not as effective as draperies, can be adjusted to let in some light and air while reflecting the sun's heat.’
    • ‘Pavement reflects or absorbs heat, depending on whether it is light or dark in color.’
    • ‘The coins glimmered in my palm, dully reflecting the dim light cast by the streetlamp overhead.’
    • ‘In my own garden I have an old stone wall with remnants of whitewash that reflects the sunlight and heat in summer.’
    • ‘Light falling on the water surface is either reflected or refracted towards the pool floor.’
    • ‘He showed that these waves travelled at the speed of light and, like light, could be reflected and refracted.’
    • ‘The theory behind it is a black tray absorbs reflected light better than a standard beige or white tray.’
    • ‘So the polluted clouds were reflecting more light back into space, preventing the heat of the sun from getting through.’
    • ‘White reflects all wavelengths evenly, but a blue surface reflects only blue and absorbs red and green.’
    • ‘The colour of a pigment is dictated by the way it absorbs certain parts of the spectrum that make up visible light and reflects others.’
    • ‘However, there is a way to avoid an echo, the problem is that it depends on your distance from the object reflecting the sound, and not the type of sound itself.’
    • ‘Natural and artificial light is reflected from the polished and honed surfaces of the stone clad interior.’
    • ‘Older skin has a rougher surface, which doesn't reflect the light, giving it a much duller appearance.’
    • ‘Straight lines are solar radiation, partly reflected back to space by dust and aerosols.’
    • ‘The less ice there is, the less sunlight is reflected back into space.’
    • ‘He is also wearing glasses that in the mirror reflect light so it appears that he cannot see his eyes.’
    • ‘Light streamed in, not from the windows on the wall, but from mirrors reflecting sunlight off the roof.’
    • ‘Other sunbeams are reflected from the top surface of the oil film.’
    send back, throw back, cast back, give back, bounce back, shine back, return, mirror
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    1. 1.1(of a mirror or shiny surface) show an image of.
      ‘he could see himself reflected in Keith's mirrored glasses’
      • ‘The oval mirror reflects me sitting on the bed, framed by the intricate lace of the curtains.’
      • ‘There are so many of me because the mirrors are reflecting both the original me and the reflections of me, if that makes sense.’
      • ‘From its opening shot of a wing mirror reflecting New York taxis shimmering in the night, the film has many moments of visual artistry.’
      • ‘She looked into her mirror and it reflected the same exact image she saw in those crimson eyes.’
      • ‘The former sees the text as a window into the development of the tradition, and the latter sees the text as a mirror reflecting its own narrative world.’
      • ‘All the viewer sees when standing in front of the work is the mirrors reflecting one another - or a blind spot.’
      • ‘He had painted himself from his image reflected in a mirror, which reversed right and left.’
      • ‘She managed to go a few steps further before she saw the bathroom mirror reflecting what was in it.’
      • ‘Finally, it has been suggested by Wilenski and others that Vermeer might have traced over images reflected in mirrors.’
      • ‘For miles, as far as the eye could see, the surface of the big loch was like a mirror, reflecting images of mountains and wooded slopes.’
      • ‘Every speck of glitter is a tiny mirror reflecting the observer.’
      • ‘On the dressing table three rectangular mirrors reflected greyness from the garden.’
      • ‘An opening in the wall behind the bed that appears at first to be a window with a view of the sky turns out to be a mirror reflecting a window on the opposite side of the room, outside the frame.’
      • ‘Within seconds, the few whirling ripples had smoothed back into an undisturbed mirror surface, reflecting the dark blue of the fading evening sky.’
      • ‘The mirror reflects the scene before us and two shadowy figures that have just entered the room.’
      • ‘There is also a light box with a photo of King's bruised face which turns into a mirror reflecting the viewer's face.’
      • ‘Good art is a kind of emotional funhouse mirror that reflects yourself and your feelings in all kinds of new and exciting ways.’
      • ‘Your identity is formed by your friends and family and acquaintances: they act like a mirror, reflecting your image of yourself back at you.’
      • ‘Through another doorway I can see a mirror which is reflecting a predominately red painting of a village on the opposite wall, out of sight.’
      • ‘It was a clear night, the stars shone brightly over the river, and the city lights were reflected in a spectrum of colored points in the water.’
      send back, throw back, cast back, give back, bounce back, shine back, return, mirror
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    2. 1.2Embody or represent (something) in a faithful or appropriate way.
      ‘schools should reflect cultural differences’
      • ‘stocks are priced at a level that reflects a company's prospects’
      • ‘Lydia was a lady now and would have to wear the appropriate clothing to reflect her new status.’
      • ‘An amount could, therefore, be agreed at the outset to reflect the appropriate rate for the period.’
      • ‘Fortunately, today's Radio 1 is a much more diverse place, better reflecting the cultural choices available in the UK.’
      • ‘So I've now changed the message to more accurately reflect what has happened.’
      • ‘The inflation rate would more accurately reflect what's actually happening on the ground.’
      • ‘First, how do we know the leaks accurately reflected what Malvo told the police?’
      • ‘First, size changes do not necessarily reflect permanent changes in the environmental conditions experienced by an individual.’
      • ‘Sadly, Ron Atkinson's racist comments merely reflect attitudes that still dog professional football.’
      • ‘Maternal perceptions are important, but do not necessarily reflect family realities.’
      • ‘Yet, these changes do not always simply reflect changes in firm boundaries.’
      • ‘The poll also reflects increasing confidence in the economy's performance over the coming months.’
      • ‘Human nature is greedy, devious and sleazy, and most salacious tabloid stories are merely reflecting that fact.’
      • ‘In that sense, Daniel Cohen's intricate study simply reflects that reality.’
      • ‘The survey results reflect this trend, as does the current industry research.’
      • ‘The statistics reflect a continuing downward trend in overall crime rates during the past three years.’
      • ‘Technically, both films reflect the customary unspectacular competence associated with Hallmark productions.’
      • ‘Suffice to say, his language does not always reflect underlying reality.’
      • ‘The differing views reflected differing policies, Rubin suggested.’
      • ‘Scriabin's youthful compositions reflect to a large degree the influence of Chopin.’
      • ‘The share price, down 37 % over the past 12 months, reflects growing pessimism.’
      indicate, show, display, demonstrate, be evidence of, register, reveal, betray, evince, disclose, exhibit, manifest
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  • 2no object Think deeply or carefully about.

    ‘he reflected with sadness on the unhappiness of his marriage’
    • ‘Charles reflected that maybe there was hope for the family after all’
    • ‘Anyone who carefully reflects on the merit of this legislation will see that it is hugely flawed.’
    • ‘That is a serious matter that I think this House should reflect on very carefully.’
    • ‘Maybe she will then reflect on that further, as we go through the legislation.’
    • ‘Looking around the room and reflecting on the day, I remembered a conversation I had with one of my cohorts.’
    • ‘Each guest gets to take an ornament off the tree, carefully wrap it in tissue and reflect on the year that's ending and the one to come.’
    • ‘Dr Hope said he would read the petitioners' letter carefully and would need to reflect on their point of view.’
    • ‘Lindsey spent the night walking around and reflecting on all the good and bad that occurred in her life.’
    • ‘Weitzel's texts often reflect upon contemporary art practice and the artist's place in society.’
    • ‘I sincerely hope this man will reflect on my response and consider his action in the event of a similar occurrence.’
    • ‘The Government has to reflect on that and consider what to do next and how to take things forward.’
    • ‘People have the power to contemplate and reflect upon infinity and eternity, concepts which are totally beyond the realm of the physical world.’
    • ‘Soon, very soon, it will all be a memory, just something in the past to reflect upon and talk about - or maybe just forget.’
    • ‘It offers a chance to reflect upon the year's achievements and consider the challenges ahead.’
    • ‘I hope those who meet to consider York's future next month reflect on this salutary tale.’
    • ‘But we should reflect for a moment upon what, exactly, is happening here.’
    • ‘Let's reflect for a moment on how well the current policy has been working.’
    • ‘We have directed our students to reflect on their experiences in collaborative groups.’
    • ‘At the end of the intervention, they must reflect on the learning experience.’
    • ‘It is relevant to reflect for a moment on what, exactly, diplomatic immunity is.’
    • ‘It is relevant to reflect just for a moment on what our history of law reporting in New Zealand has been.’
    think about, give thought to, consider, give consideration to, review, mull over, contemplate, study, cogitate about, cogitate on, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, deliberate on, ruminate about, ruminate on, ruminate over, dwell on, brood on, brood over, agonize over, worry about, chew over, puzzle over, speculate about, weigh up, revolve, turn over in one's mind, be in a brown study
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    1. 2.1 archaic Make disparaging remarks about.
      • ‘the clergy were strictly charged not to reflect on the Catholic religion in their discourses’
  • 3reflect onno object (of an action or situation) bring credit or discredit to the relevant parties.

    ‘the incident reflects badly on the operating practices of the airlines’
    • ‘I want every decision I make to reflect well on me’
    • ‘that is quite a serious accusation, which reflects on all 120 members of Parliament’
    • ‘the main contract is progressing well, which reflects great credit on those involved’
    • ‘Chapman reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.’
    • ‘It is a sorry tale which reflects no credit on either party.’
    • ‘Leeds did manage to stage a late rally, which reflected huge credit on their fighting qualities.’
    • ‘Yet of all the ways in which to lose, few could have reflected more credit on either side.’



/rəˈflek(t)/ /rəˈflɛk(t)/


Late Middle English from Old French reflecter or Latin reflectere, from re- ‘back’ + flectere ‘to bend’.