Meaning of REFLEX in English


I. ˈreˌfleks sometimes rə̇ˈf- or rēˈf- noun

( -es )

Etymology: Latin reflexus, past participle of reflectere to reflect

1. : reflected heat, light, or color ; specifically : light represented as reflected from an illuminated surface to one in shade (as in a painting)


a. : a mirrored image

like the reflex of the moon seen in a wave — P.B.Shelley

b. : a copy that reflects an original in essential features or peculiar characteristics

to make legislation a reflex of the popular will — W.E.H.Lecky


a. obsolete : considered thought or statement

b. obsolete : a glancing reference : allusion


a. or reflex act : an act (as a movement) performed automatically and without conscious volition in consequence of a nervous impulse transmitted inward by afferent fibers from a receptor to a nerve center and commonly through adjustor neurones outward by efferent fibers to an effector (as a muscle or gland)

b. or reflex action : the whole process comprising reception, transmission, and reaction that culminates in such an act

c. reflexes plural : the power of acting or responding with adequate speed

his strength and the agility in his legs were gone and his reflexes no longer as they had been — Ernest Hemingway

his reflexes are gone … I will never okay him to fight again — Time

d. : an automatic or strongly habitual and predictable way of thinking or behaving

to obscure emotion was becoming for him a natural reflex — Truman Capote

the dangers of this wholesale conditioning of human mental reflexes — New Republic


a. : a phonemic, grammatical, or vocabulary element as found in a language in a form determined by development from an earlier stage of the language

b. : a cognate element

II. adjective

Etymology: Latin reflexus, past participle of reflectere

1. : bent, turned, or directed back : reversed in direction or course : reflected

reflex current in a river

stem with reflex leaves

2. : directed back upon the mind or its operations : introspective

3. : produced in reaction, in resistance, or in return

monetary deflation is the reflex consequence of undue inflation

4. of an angle : greater than two and less than four right angles : being between 180° and 360° — see angle illustration


a. : of, relating to, or produced by stimulus without necessarily the intervention of consciousness

reflex contraction of the iris

b. : relating to, marked by, connected with, or constituting a reflex

reflex center

6. : having an amplifier tube functioning simultaneously as both a radio-frequency and an audio-frequency amplifier by leading the current through a tube both before and after detection

reflex receiving set

7. : relating to the reproduction of print or other graphic matter by means of a contact printing method in which light transmitted through light-sensitive material is reflected back onto the material from the matter to be reproduced

reflex paper

reflex copying

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