American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


REFLECT', verb transitive [Latin reflecto; re and flecto, to bend.]

To throw back; to return. In the rainbow, the rays of light are reflected as well as refracted.

Bodies close together reflect their own color.

REFLECT', verb intransitive

1. To throw back light; to return rays or beams; as a reflecting mirror or gem.

2. To bend back.

3. To throw or turn back the thoughts upon the past operations of the mind or upon past events. We reflect with pleasure on a generous or heroic action; we reflect with pain on our follies and vices; we reflect on our former thoughts, meditations and opinions.

4. To consider attentively; to revolve in the mind; to contemplate; as, I will reflect on this subject.

And as I much reflected, much I mourn'd.

In every action, reflect upon the end.

[To reflect on things future, is not strictly possible, yet the word is often used as synonymous with meditate and contemplate.]

5. To bring reproach.

Errors of wives reflect on husband still.

To reflect on, to cast censure or reproach.

I do not reflect in the least on the memory of his late majesty.