1. Directed back on itself.
a. Of, relating to, or being a verb having an identical subject and direct object, as dressed in the sentence She dressed herself.
b. Of, relating to, or being the pronoun used as the direct object of a reflexive verb, as herself in She dressed herself.
3. Of or relating to a reflex.
4. Elicited automatically; spontaneous: "a bid for ... reflexive left-wing approval" (Marshall Delaney).
A reflexive verb or pronoun. See Usage Note at myself.
re·flexive·ness, re′flex·ivi·ty (rē′flĕk-sĭvĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.