Is this usage of reflect correct?

He always wears a warm smile.
His girlfriend looking at his face all the time started to reflect the smile.
(= she now wears the same warm smile.)

If this usage is incorrect, is there any verb to replace reflect?

Thank you!

  • 1
    There really is no "correct" or "incorrect" here. "Reflect" is a very creative way to express the thought, and there is nothing wrong with it, but you may not intend to be creative. If you do, echo is another similarly metaphoric usage in English. (But the answer is a matter of opinion, unfortunately.) Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:34
  • But OP didn't ask what would be better, so were in the on-topic realm of synonyms-that-work.
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:49
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Yes, and that is a vast, unfettered realm that stretches from adopt past parrot and onward past the far-flung Isles of Langerhans. Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:55
  • @P. E. Dant You are right. I don't want to be creative or too literary in the usage of English words. I would like to sound neutral. Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:57

2 Answers 2


In this example it is correct and fairly unambiguous. It is possible to be ambiguous with 'reflect' because it can mean that she has changed in some unspecified way as a result of his smile.

You could also use 'reciprocate' or 'return' if she was specifically smiling back at him or 'copy' or 'imitate' if she was smiling in general at the same things as him.

  • Him was smiling? Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:40
  • @smatterer Thank your for the answer. Your suggestions prompted me to ask more questions (these will follow soon). Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 1:14

A verb that would work is to adopt, to take as one's own.

His girlfriend, looking at his face all the time, began to adopt the smile.

  • I would say mimic myself, but you type almost as quickly as StoneyB, who must have someone taking fookin dictation. Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:28
  • So, she was mimetic? The girlfriend,not StoneyB's amanuensis.
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:45
  • Let's say echoic instead, and the fellow can be narcissistic. Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:50
  • @Tᴚoɯɐuo Adopt sounds right. Adopt sounds suitable to mean what I wanted to mean (which is "Now she always wears the warm smile as he does."). I also understand the usage of commas you corrected. All are very helpful. Thank you! Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:53
  • @P.E. Dant: So much responsibility, that's why his head is bowed.
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 0:53

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