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From Late Latin reflexus, past participle of reflectere (to bend back). Photography sense is from noun sense meaning “reflection”.


reflex (plural reflexes)

  1. An automatic response to a simple stimulus which does not require mental processing.
    • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes to deflect his header on to the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool's insistent protests that the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd and assistant referee Andrew Garratt waved play on, with even a succession of replays proving inconclusive.
  2. (linguistics) The descendant of an earlier language element, such as a word or phoneme, in a daughter language.
  3. The descendant of anything from an earlier time, such as a cultural myth.
    • Brinton
      The superstition of the loup-garou, or werewolf, belongs to the folklore of most modern nations, and has its reflex in the story of "Little Red Riding-hood" and others.
  4. (obsolete) Reflection; the light reflected from an illuminated surface to one in shade.
    • Shakespeare
      Yon gray is not the morning's eye, / 'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow.
    • Tennyson
      On the depths of death there swims / The reflex of a human face.



reflex (comparative more reflex, superlative most reflex)

  1. Bent, turned back or reflected.
    • Sir M. Hale
      the reflex act of the soul, or the turning of the intellectual eye inward upon its own actions
  2. Produced automatically by a stimulus.
  3. (geometry, of an angle) Having greater than 180 degrees but less than 360 degrees.
    • 1878, James Maurice Wilson, Elementary Geometry, MacMillan, page 10:
      A polygon is said to be convex when no one of its angles is reflex.
    • 1895, David Eugen Smith and Wooster Woodruff Bernan, New Plane and Solid Geometry, page 7:
      An angle less than a right angle is said to be acute; one greater than a right angle but less than a straight angle is said to be obtuse; one greater than a straight angle but less than a perigon is said to be reflex or convex.
    • 1958, Howard Fehr, “On Teaching Dihedral Angle and Steradian” in The Mathematics Teacher, v 51, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, page 275:
      If the reflex region is the interior of the angle, the dihedral angle is reflex.
    • 1991, B. Falcidieno et al, “Configurable Representations in Feature-based Modelling” in Eurographics '91: Proceedings, North-Holland, page 145:
      A reflex edge of a polyhedron is an edge where the inner dihedral angle subtended by two incident faces is greater than 180°.
    • 2001, Esther M. Arkin et al, “On the Reflexivity of Point Sets”, in Algorithms and data structures: 7th International Workshop, WADS 2001: Proceedings, Springer, page 195:
      We say that an angle is convex if it is not reflex.
    • 2004, Ana Paula Tomás and António Leslie Bajuelos, “Quadratic-Time Linear-Space Algorithms Generating Orthogonal Polygons with a Given Number of Vertices”, in Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2004 Proceedings, part 3, Springer, page 117:
      P denotes a polygon and r the number of reflex vertices.
  4. (photography) Of a camera or camera mechanism, using a mirror to reflect the image onto a ground-glass viewfinder, allowing the photographer to see it up to the moment of exposure.


Derived terms[edit]



reflex (third-person singular simple present reflexes, present participle reflexing, simple past and past participle reflexed)

  1. (transitive) To bend, turn back or reflect.
  2. To respond to a stimulus.



reflex m

  1. reflex

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • reflex in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • reflex in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989



  • IPA(key): [ˈrɛflɛks]
  • Hyphenation: ref‧lex


reflex (plural reflexek)

  1. reflex


Inflection (stem in -e-, front unrounded harmony)
singular plural
nominative reflex reflexek
accusative reflexet reflexeket
dative reflexnek reflexeknek
instrumental reflexszel reflexekkel
causal-final reflexért reflexekért
translative reflexszé reflexekké
terminative reflexig reflexekig
essive-formal reflexként reflexekként
inessive reflexben reflexekben
superessive reflexen reflexeken
adessive reflexnél reflexeknél
illative reflexbe reflexekbe
sublative reflexre reflexekre
allative reflexhez reflexekhez
elative reflexből reflexekből
delative reflexről reflexekről
ablative reflextől reflexektől
Possessive forms of reflex
possessor single possession multiple possessions
1st person sing. reflexem reflexeim
2nd person sing. reflexed reflexeid
3rd person sing. reflexe reflexei
1st person plural reflexünk reflexeink
2nd person plural reflexetek reflexeitek
3rd person plural reflexük reflexeik

Derived terms[edit]



reflex c

  1. a reflex, a (quick and spontaneous) reaction
  2. a reflector (tag, strip or band; carried by pedestrians and bicyclists to be visible from automobiles)


Declension of reflex 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative reflex reflexen reflexer reflexerna
Genitive reflex reflexens reflexers reflexernas