Definition of reflection in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈflekSH(ə)n/


1The throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it: the reflection of light
More example sentences
  • It was a beautifully worked out theory and explained most of the observed phenomena of light such as reflection, refraction, diffraction etc.
  • These signals are based on the controlled reflection of polarized light from the body surface.
  • His discovery of the polarisation of light by reflection was published in 1809 and his theory of double refraction of light in crystals in 1810.
sending back, throwing back, casting back
1.1An amount of light, heat, or sound that is reflected by a body or surface: the reflections from the streetlights gave us just enough light
More example sentences
  • Polarized lenses on sunglasses help to reduce glare by not allowing the polarizations that come from reflections through but allowing other light through.
  • Light reflections off the chrome surface, reflective windows, everything is used to make you believe you're part of the action.
  • The receiving devices samples a plurality of points on the near side of the structure to detect vibrations resulting from reflections of the sound wave from the object.
1.2An image seen in a mirror or shiny surface: Marianne surveyed her reflection in the mirror
More example sentences
  • Given the way these were lit, the viewer could see not only the photographs, but also reflections of the installation mirrored in their framing glass.
  • One nuance Duguay revels in throughout the film is the use of mirrors, windows and reflections.
  • This past election was a mirror reflection of the level of concern there is within our community and others throughout Manitoba.
image, mirror image, likeness
1.3A thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else: a healthy skin is a reflection of good health in general
More example sentences
  • Both observations could be seen as a reflection or consequence of the cognitive mechanisms underlying sentence processing.
  • Yet if we view the Government's recent behaviour as a collective reflection of what happens to each of us when we are under pressure, then things become clearer.
  • Our lips are a reflection of our inner health and as such, they deserve the same care and consideration as the rest of our body.
indication, display, demonstration, manifestation;
expression, evidence
1.4 [in singular] A thing bringing discredit to someone or something: it was a sad reflection on society that because of his affliction he was picked on
More example sentences
  • There is no sign of the ‘retired’ Keane in the squad but that is no reflection on the assistance he readily offered Munster for the first two games of the competition.
  • We have a very loyal and hard-working workforce and this decision is no reflection on their commitment to our business.
  • He said the reshuffle was no reflection on the talents of the people stepping down, but was necessary for the ‘radical change’ the business needed.
slur, aspersion, imputation, reproach, shame, criticism
1.5 Mathematics The conceptual operation of inverting a system or event with respect to a plane, each element being transferred perpendicularly through the plane to a point the same distance the other side of it.
Example sentences
  • If the plane contains the main rotation axis then it is usually called a vertical reflection plane; and if it is perpendicular to the main rotation axis it is known as a horizontal reflection plane.
  • There are 880 magic squares of order 4, again excluding reflections and rotations of each pattern.
  • Barring rotations and reflections, there are 536 distinct solutions.
2Serious thought or consideration: he doesn’t get much time for reflection
More example sentences
  • This gives me considerable pause, but on further reflection I remain of the opinion that he should be confirmed as Chief Justice of the United States.
  • At first it depressed me that people gauged their popularity by how many texts they received, but on further reflection I realised that it's nothing new.
  • But on further reflection we decided that such a limit was really not necessary.
thought, thinking, consideration, contemplation, deliberation, pondering, meditation, musing, rumination
formal cogitation
2.1An idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed: reflections on human destiny and art
More example sentences
  • Barthes's qualities may be best displayed in fragments like the following, a self-conscious reflection upon writing.
  • No one has yet published a treasure-trove of the private written reflections of our current president.
  • Take out a notebook and write down your reflections.
opinion, thought, view, belief, feeling, idea, impression, conclusion, assessment;
comment, observation, remark


Late Middle English: from Old French reflexion or late Latin reflexio(n-), from Latin reflex- 'bent back', from the verb reflectere.

Words that rhyme with reflection

abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, direction, ejection, election, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·flec·tion

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