One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of light, heat, an image, etc.: reflected, thrown back. Also: owing to or caused by reflection. Also figurative and in figurative contexts. Now rare.
2Chiefly Botany and Heraldry. Especially of a part of a plant (or animal): bent, turned, looped, or folded back; recurved.
3Of knowledge, a thought, action, etc.: turned or directed backwards or inwards. Compare "reflex". Now rare.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Wyclif (d. 1384), theologian, philosopher, and religious reformer. From post-classical Latin reflexus, past participle of reflectere reflect + -ed. Compare later reflex, reflex.
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