Definition of reflex in English:


Line breaks: re¦flex
Pronunciation: /ˈriːflɛks


  • 1An action that is performed without conscious thought as a response to a stimulus: a newborn baby is equipped with basic reflexes
    More example sentences
    • These are inhibitory reflexes, excited by deglutition, by gastric distension, and by intestinal dilatation.
    • Secretion into the bloodstream is increased by the presence of food, particularly protein, in the stomach, and is also stimulated by neural reflexes.
    • All his paradigm required was linking and relinking stimuli and responses: a salivary reflex, once produced by food, was now evoked by a bell signaling the coming of food.
  • 1.1(In reflexology) a response in a part of the body to stimulation of a corresponding point on the feet, hands, or head: [as modifier]: reflex points
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    • The reflexes in the feet are stimulated with various massage techniques to promote healing in the body.
    • The points on the ear have their reflex to different bodily functions or organs.
    • When the nervous system becomes involved, the muscle tendon bundles remain hypertonic and pain reflexes in the area are activated.
  • 2A thing which is determined by and reproduces the essential features or qualities of something else: politics was no more than a reflex of economics
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    • This individualism was perhaps a natural reflex of an economy bursting forth from its medieval limitations.
    • In doing so they constitute a public and communal reflex of that private, complex, individual and highly personal process through which people cope with, and come to terms with, the vicissitudes of life.
    • Her feet followed his automatically, as a reflex from many hour of being tortured in etiquette, posture, and dance classes.
  • 2.1A word formed by development from an earlier stage of a language.
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    • Orza is the Italian reflex of a common Romance word generally thought to be of Latin origin.
  • 3 archaic A reflected source of light: the reflex from the window lit his face


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  • 2(Of an angle) exceeding 180°.
  • 3 archaic (Of light) reflected.
  • 3.1Bent or turned backwards.



More example sentences
  • Esophageal peristalsis can also be excited reflexly in the smooth muscle segment (but not in the striated muscle part), by transient distension of the organ, both in situ and in vitro.
  • Muscle length depends upon the operation of muscle-length detecting receptors (muscle spindles) that reflexly cause a proportionate muscle contraction if the muscle is stretched.
  • Some of this happens by dynamic airway closure and some by reflexly narrowing the glottis and using it to dynamically slow or control respiration.


early 16th century (as a noun denoting reflection): from Latin reflexus 'a bending back', from reflectere 'bend back' (see reflect).

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