reflection

Your reflection is what you see in the mirror. Other things that bounce back at you are also reflections — light waves, sound waves, even your thoughts.

Reflection comes from the Latin reflectere, made up of the prefix re-, "back," and flectere, "to bend." So it's bending something back: your reflection in the mirror is the light waves that bounce your image back at you. When you pause for reflection — serious thinking, that is — your thoughts are bending inward. Reflection can also be a consequence of something: the way your dog mopes around when you're away is a reflection of how much he misses you.

Definitions of reflection
  1. noun
    the phenomenon of a propagating wave (light or sound) being thrown back from a surface
    synonyms: reflexion
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    types:
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    flare
    am unwanted reflection in an optical system (or the fogging of an image that is caused by such a reflection)
    interreflection
    reciprocal reflection between two reflecting surfaces
    virtual image
    a reflected optical image (as seen in a plane mirror)
    zodiacal light
    a luminous tract in the sky; a reflection of sunlight from cosmic dust in the plane of the ecliptic; visible just before sunrise and just after sunset
    type of:
    physical phenomenon
    a natural phenomenon involving the physical properties of matter and energy
  2. noun
    the image of something as reflected by a mirror (or other reflective material)
    “he studied his reflection in the mirror”
    synonyms: reflexion
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    type of:
    icon, ikon, image, picture
    a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface
  3. noun
    a likeness in which left and right are reversed
    synonyms: mirror image, reflexion
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    type of:
    alikeness, likeness, similitude
    similarity in appearance or character or nature between persons or things
  4. noun
    the ability to reflect beams or rays
    synonyms: reflectivity, reflexion
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    types:
    echo, replication, reverberation, sound reflection
    the repetition of a sound resulting from reflection of the sound waves
    echo
    a reflected television or radio or radar beam
    re-echo
    the echo of an echo
    type of:
    physical property
    any property used to characterize matter and energy and their interactions
  5. noun
    a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
    synonyms: contemplation, musing, reflexion, rumination, thoughtfulness
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    cogitation, study
    attentive consideration and meditation
    meditation, speculation
    continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature
    meditation
    (religion) contemplation of spiritual matters (usually on religious or philosophical subjects)
    introspection, self-contemplation, self-examination
    the contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct
    retrospect
    contemplation of things past
    lucubration
    laborious cogitation
    self-analysis, soul-searching
    a penetrating examination of your own beliefs and motives
    examen, examination
    a detailed inspection of your conscience (as done daily by Jesuits)
    type of:
    consideration
    the process of giving careful thought to something
  6. noun
    a remark expressing careful consideration
    synonyms: observation, reflexion
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    examples:
    Parkinson's law
    C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that the number of subordinates in an organization will increase linearly regardless of the amount of work to be done
    Parkinson's law
    C. Northcote Parkinson's cynical observation that work will expand so as to fill the time available for its completion
    type of:
    comment, input, remark
    a statement that expresses a personal opinion or belief or adds information
  7. noun
    expression without words
    “the pulse is a reflection of the heart's condition”
    synonyms: expression, manifestation, reflexion
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    lamentation, mourning
    the passionate and demonstrative activity of expressing grief
    act
    a manifestation of insincerity
    blowup, ebullition, effusion, gush, outburst
    an unrestrained expression of emotion
    acting out
    a (usually irritating) impulsive and uncontrollable outburst by a problem child or a neurotic adult
    cry
    a fit of weeping
    explosion
    a sudden outburst
    flare
    a sudden outburst of emotion
    type of:
    demo, demonstration
    a visual presentation showing how something works
  8. noun
    (mathematics) a transformation in which the direction of one axis is reversed
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    type of:
    transformation
    (mathematics) a function that changes the position or direction of the axes of a coordinate system
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