- (of a verb) taking a subject and object with identical referents, as shave in I shave myself.
- (of a pronoun) used as an object to refer to the subject of a verb, as myself in I shave myself.
- reflex; responsive.
- able to reflect; reflective.
- noting a relation in which each element is in relation to itself, as the relation “less than or equal to.”Compare antireflexive.
- (of a vector space) having the property that the dual space of the dual space of the given vector space equals the given vector space.
- Grammar. a reflexive verb or pronoun.
- denoting a class of pronouns that refer back to the subject of a sentence or clause. Thus, in the sentence that man thinks a great deal of himself, the pronoun himself is reflexive
- denoting a verb used transitively with the reflexive pronoun as its direct object, as the French se lever “to get up” (literally “to raise oneself”) or English to dress oneself
- physiol of or relating to a reflex
- logic maths (of a relation) holding between any member of its domain and itself“… is a member of the same family as …” is reflexive Compare irreflexive, nonreflexive
- a reflexive pronoun or verb
1580s, “reflective, capable of bending or turning back,” from Medieval Latin reflexivus, from Late Latin reflexus (see reflect). Meaning “of the nature of a reflex” is from 1839 (implied in reflexively). Grammatical sense from 1837. Related: Reflexiveness; reflexivity.
- Of or relating to a mathematical or logical relation such that, for any given element, that element has the given relation to itself. Equality in mathematics is a reflexive relation, since a = a for all a, whereas the relation of being ‘less than’ is not, since it is not true that a a for any a.