Definition of “reflect” - English Dictionary

“reflect” in British English

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reflectverb

uk /rɪˈflekt/ us /rɪˈflekt/

reflect verb (RETURN)

B2 [ I or T ] If a surface reflects light, heat, sound, or an image, it sends the light, etc. back and does not absorb it:

He saw himself reflected in the water/mirror/shop window.
The light reflected off the surface of the water.

More examples

  • The candlelight reflected on his gold wristwatch.
  • Her black hair reflected the light from the garden as if it were a lantern.
  • The whole place was aglow, with amber light reflected off teak veneer.
  • The shiny brass reflected the light like a mirror.
  • I could see my face reflected in his glasses.

reflect verb (SHOW)

B2 [ T ] to show, express, or be a sign of something:

The statistics reflect a change in people's spending habits.

More examples

  • Does television adequately reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country?
  • This poem reflects the poet's love of nature and his religious beliefs.
  • The results of the survey reflect a considerable shift in attitudes towards the legal profession.
  • The sombre atmosphere in the changing room reflected the mood of the team after its defeat in the final.
  • They argue that the membership of the Council does not reflect the racial make-up of the city.

reflect verb (THINK)

B2 [ I ] formal to think carefully, especially about possibilities and opinions:

The manager demanded time to reflect (on what to do).
[ + that ] She reflected that this was probably the last time she would see him.

More examples

  • It provides one with a chance to reflect on spiritual matters in solitude.
  • The writer reflects on human injustice and iniquity.
  • In many of his poems the poet reflects on the quietude of the countryside.
  • He paused for a moment and reflected on the work in front of him.
  • He spent the evening reflecting on the day's events.

Phrasal verb(s)

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

“reflect” in American English

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reflectverb

us /rɪˈflekt/

reflect verb (SEND BACK)

physics [ I/T ] to send back light, heat, energy, or sound from a surface:

[ T ] Light-colored clothing reflects the sun’s heat rather than absorbing it.
[ I ] Moonlight reflected off the surface of the lake.

reflect verb (SHOW)

[ T ] to show, express, or be a sign of something:

His blank face reflected his boredom.

reflect verb (THINK)

[ I ] to think carefully:

She felt she needed time to reflect on what to do next.
reflector
noun [ C ] us /rɪˈflek·tər/

His new lighting system uses lamps and reflectors.

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

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