Meaning of “reflection” in the English Dictionary

"reflection" in British English

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uk /rɪˈflek.ʃən/ us /rɪˈflek.ʃən/

reflection noun (IMAGE)

B2 [ C or U ] the image of something in a mirror or on any reflective surface:

In Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.
He put silver foil around the fire to increase heat reflection.

More examples

  • She was looking at her reflection in the mirror.
  • She could see her reflection in the water, shimmering in the moonlight.
  • She checked her reflection in the mirror.
  • She caught sight of her reflection in the mirror on the door.
  • He smiled at his reflection in the mirror.

reflection noun (SIGN)

C1 [ C usually singular ] a sign or result of something:

The fact that soldiers are on the streets is a reflection of how terrified the government is.

More examples

  • The film is a reflection of the violence that pervades American culture.
  • Her novel is an accurate reflection of life in post-war Spain.
  • I don't believe these exam results are a true reflection of your abilities.
  • His poor job performance is a reflection of his lack of training.
  • The grief after her death was a reflection of the great love that people felt for her.

(Definition of “reflection” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"reflection" in American English

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us /rɪˈflek·ʃən/

reflection noun (SHOW)

[ C ] something that shows, expresses, or is a sign of something:

Their finely decorated home is a reflection of their good taste.
The team’s losses of late seem to be a reflection on the coaching.

reflection noun (SEND BACK)

physics [ C/U ] the return of light, heat, sound, or energy from a surface

[ C/U ] A reflection is also an image seen in a mirror or other shiny surface:

Standing on the dock, we could see the reflection of the sky in the still water.
angle of reflection physics

The angle of reflection is the angle that a beam of light or other energy that is reflected from a surface makes with a line vertical to that surface.

reflection noun (THINKING)

[ C/U ] careful thoughts:

[ C ] Her reflections on life are recorded in her journal.
[ U ] After much reflection, he decided to return to teaching.

(Definition of “reflection” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)