Meaning of REFLECTION in English

I. rə̇ˈflekshən, rēˈf- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, alteration (influenced by reflecten to reflect) of reflexion, from Middle French, from Late Latin reflexion-, reflexio action of bending back, from Latin reflexus (past participle of reflectere to reflect, bend back) + -ion-, -io -ion

1. : the partial or complete return of a wave motion (as of light or sound) from a surface that it encounters into the medium that it originally traversed and in a manner that is usually diffuse or irregular — compare specular reflection

2. : the production of an image by or as if by a mirror

the eye sees not itself but by reflection — Shakespeare

the officers were a reflection of their men, more restrained — John Steinbeck


a. : the action of bending or folding back

b. : a reflected part

the mesentery is a reflection of the peritoneum

: fold

4. : something produced by reflecting:

a. : reflected light or heat

b. : reflected brilliance (as of wit) or warmth (as of emotion)

joy is only the reflection of what is sought, a will-o'-the wisp — Gouverneur Paulding

c. : an image given back by a reflecting surface : a reflected counterpart

d. : an effect produced by an influence

reflections of ancient Celtic legend in Italian literature

5. : reproach cast or brought to bear : censure , blame , imputation

the reflections on certain named persons' chastity and honesty — Geographical Journal

6. : a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation

random reflections and essays by one of our finest stylists — Orville Prescott


a. : consideration of some subject matter, idea, or purpose often with a view to understanding or accepting it or seeing it in its right relations

as … walking gave him a better chance for reflection , the prospect slowly brightened — John Buchan

b. : introspective contemplation of the contents or qualities of one's own thoughts or remembered experiences

reflection can be practiced on every experience — Edmund Husserl

8. obsolete : turning back : return

9. obsolete : relation , connection

10. obsolete : recollection

II. noun

1. : a transformation of a figure in which each point is replaced by a point symmetric with respect to a line or plane

2. : a transformation that involves reflection in more than one axis of a rectangular coordinate system

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.