Definition of reflex in English:

reflex

Syllabification: re·flex
Pronunciation: /ˈrēˌfleks
 
/

noun

1An action that is performed as a response to a stimulus and without conscious thought: 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 (reflexes) A person’s ability to respond quickly: he was saved by his superb reflexes
More example sentences
  • A flash of movement and my lightning quick reflexes were all that saved me.
  • Then with lightning quick reflexes she pinned Rachel to the grass.
  • With lightning quick reflexes, Amanda pushed the button on her bracelet and raised an invisible shield around herself.
1.2(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
More example sentences
  • 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 that is determined by and reproduces the essential features or qualities of something else: politics was no more than a reflex of economics
More example sentences
  • 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.
More example sentences
  • Orza is the Italian reflex of a common Romance word generally thought to be of Latin origin.
2.2 archaic A reflected source of light: the reflex from the window lit his face

adjective

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1(Of an action) performed without conscious thought as an automatic response to a stimulus: sneezing is a reflex action
More example sentences
  • The same event, however, can take place without a swallow as a reflex response to mechanical stimulation of the esophagus.
  • In the respiratory tract, complex reflex responses to the gastric refluxate occur in children by three mechanisms.
  • The mechanism by which the body senses and responds to changes in blood pressure by reflex vasodilation or contraction of peripheral vessels is impaired.
Synonyms
instinctive, automatic, involuntary, reflexive, impulsive, intuitive, spontaneous, unconscious, unconditioned, untaught, unlearned
2(Of an angle) exceeding 180°.
2.1 archaic (Of light) reflected.
2.2 (also reflexed) (Especially of flower petals) bent or turned backward.
2.3 archaic (Of a thought) directed or turned back upon the mind itself; introspective.

Origin

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

Derivatives

reflexly

Pronunciation: /ˈrēˌflekslē, riˈflekslē/
adverb
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.

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