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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb reflect:

Video footage: Businessman in a suit is walking towards a big window that looks at the buildings that reflect sunlight. Shot on RED Cinema Camera in 4K (UHD).
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Definition of the verb reflect

What does reflect mean as a doing word?

Reflect is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: reflected | reflecting | reflects

  1. manifest or bring back
    • example: This action reflects his true beliefs
    • lexical domain: Perceptions - verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling
    • more generic words: designate / indicate / point / show = indicate a place, direction, person, or thing
  2. reflect deeply on a subject
  3. to throw or bend back (from a surface)
    • example: Sound is reflected well in this auditorium
    • domain: acoustics
    • lexical domain: Perceptions - verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling
    • synonym of reflect: reverberate
    • more specific words:
      • reverberate = be reflected as heat, sound, or light or shock waves
      • mirror = reflect as if in a mirror
  4. be bright by reflecting or casting light
    • example: Drive carefully--the wet road reflects
    • lexical domain: Weather - verbs of raining, snowing, thawing, thundering
    • synonym of reflect: shine
    • more generic terms: emit / give off / give out = give off, send forth, or discharge
    • more specific words:
  5. show an image of
    • example: her sunglasses reflected his image
    • domain: optics
    • lexical domain: Perceptions - verbs of seeing, hearing, feeling
    • more generic word: show = make visible or noticeable
  6. give evidence of a certain behavior
  7. give evidence of the quality of
    • example: The mess in his dorm room reflects on the student
    • lexical domain: Communication - verbs of telling, asking, ordering, singing
    • more generic words: attest / certify / demonstrate / evidence / manifest = provide evidence for; stand as proof of
    • more specific word: mirror = reflect or resemble

Alternative definition of the verb reflect


  1. [transitive] To bend back (light, etc.) from a surface.
  2. [transitive] To mirror, or show the image of something.
  3. [transitive] To agree with; to closely follow.
  4. [intransitive] To give evidence of someone's or something's character etc.
  5. [intransitive] To think seriously; to ponder or consider.


"Reflect" is a short film directed by Hsu Tsen-Chu.

Phrases with Reflect

  1. Reflect on
  2. reflect upon

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Reflect

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewBecoming a Professional Tutor in the Lifelong Learning Sector (2010)

by Jonathan Tummons

REfLECT is an online portfolio that works in exactly the same way as (for example) a paperbased NVQ portfolio.

REflECT is a personal and secure application, and unless a tutor chooses to share documents or pages from it, whatever is ...

Google previewLogic from Computer Science (2012)

Proceedings of a Workshop held November 13–17, 1989 by Yiannis N. Moschovakis

Reflect is an acceptable ...

Google previewEmergence and Change in Early Urban Societies (1997)

by Linda Manzanilla

What the exceptional evidence provided by the clay-sealings at Arslan- tepe does reflect is the presence of an administrative system that is almost identical in its basic structure to the Mesopotamian one, probably even in the details, but at the ...

Google previewThe Secret Chain (1994)

Evolution and Ethics by Michael Bradie

the capacity to suffer, and that we are reflective. There may be other indispensable capacities as well but if any of these is missing then no moral behavior seems possible. The capacity to reflect is a function of the development of our brains.

Google previewThe New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (2013)

Volume 23: Folk Art by Carol Crown, Cheryl Rivers, Charles Reagan Wilson

Recent stones engraved with footballs, dogs, or men fishing reflect regional interests while others engraved with portraits or prized possessions reflect a cult of the individual or even affirm the notion common to southern gothic fiction that the ...

Google previewThe Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia (2000)

by Charles Taylor

This is because the surface of the sea is in constant motion, and different parts of the surface reflect light at different angles. Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz (1853- 1928) used mathematics rather than experiments to investigate light.

Google previewComprehensive Dictionary of Electrical Engineering (1999)

by Phillip A. Laplante

line-reflect-match (LRM) calibration an error correction scheme (calibration) where the calibration standards used are a transmission line, a reflect load, and a matched load. Line- reflect- ...

Google previewA Valency Dictionary of English (2004)

A Corpus-Based Analysis of the Complementation Patterns of English Verbs, Nouns and Adjectives by Thomas Herbst, David Heath, Ian F. Roe, Dieter Götz

Watch light reflect and see how it can be made to go round corners while you make your own kaieidoscopc or periscope. B The pilot...

Google previewThe handy school dictionary, pronouncing and explanatory (1874)

by James Stormonth

reflect, v ri.fiekl', to throw hack light, licat, Ac.; to meditate: reflecting, a.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Reflect

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Photos about Reflect

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Small photo of Fisherman on the pier. Nature in reflect. Sky in reflect. More...

Video language resources about Reflect

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View more videos about Reflect on and reflect upon.

See also the pronunciation examples of Reflect!

Quotes about Reflect

When a man sees something desirable, he must reflect on the fact that with time it could come to involve what is detestable. When he sees something that is beneficial, he should reflect that sooner or later it, too, could come to involve harm. (Xun Zi)
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Scrabble value of R1E1F4L1E1C3T1

The value of this 7-letter word is 12 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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