reflect on

Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to reflect on: come off, stick with, in line with, reflect upon

reflect (back) (up)on someone or something

to remember or think about someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) When I reflect back on the years I spent with my parents, I think I had a good childhood. I like to reflect on my great-grandmother.
See also: reflect

reflect on something

also reflect upon something
to think seriously about something Her essay invites the reader to reflect on the importance of art in people's lives.
See also: reflect

reflect on somebody/something

to influence the reputation of a person, group, or organization The outstanding work of our scientists reflects well on the entire university. If someone on our staff does a bad job, it reflects badly on all of us.
Usage notes: always used with an adverb and said of both good and bad influences on a reputation
See also: reflect

reflect on

1. Consider or think carefully about, as in She reflected on her country's role in history. [c. 1600] A closely related phrase is on due reflection, meaning "after careful consideration." For example, On due reflection I decided to vote for the incumbent.
2. reflect on one. Give evidence of one's qualities, as in The hasty preparation of this report will reflect on you. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: reflect

reflect on

or reflect upon
1. To think carefully about something: He sat in the garden and reflected on what he had just read.
2. To express carefully considered thoughts about something: In the essay, she reflects on her long career and offers advice for young writers.
3. To give evidence of the characteristics or qualities of someone or something: The student's performance reflects well on the whole school. Hasty preparation of the report will reflect badly on you.
4. To appear as a reflected image on some surface: The trees are reflecting on the water.
5. To cause something to appear as a reflected image on some surface: The window reflected wavy lines on the floor.
See also: reflect
References in classic literature ?
Jones, however, who was sufficiently awake, and was not without an ear any more than without eyes, made some observations; which being joined to all which the reader may remember to have passed formerly, gave him pretty strong assurances, when he came to reflect on the whole, that all was not well in the tender bosom of Sophia; an opinion which many young gentlemen will, I doubt not, extremely wonder at his not having been well confirmed in long ago.
monsieur, reflect on all this; place me, to-morrow, in some dark cavern at a mountain's base; yield me the delight of hearing in freedom sounds of the river, plain and valley, of beholding in freedom the sun of the blue heavens, or the stormy sky, and it is enough.
When the poor girl reached the street, she began to reflect on what she had done.
But I cannot forget the length of her visit to the Mainwarings, and when I reflect on the different mode of life which she led with them from that to which she must now submit, I can only suppose that the wish of establishing her reputation by following though late the path of propriety, occasioned her removal from a family where she must in reality have been particularly happy.
And here I am naturally led to reflect on the means of elevating a low subject.
It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment.