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Twitch vs Reflex - What's the difference?

twitch | reflex | Related terms |

As nouns the difference between twitch and reflex

is that twitch is a brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again; a spasm while reflex is an automatic response to a simple stimulus which does not require mental processing.

As verbs the difference between twitch and reflex

is that twitch is to perform a twitch; spasm while reflex is to bend, turn back or reflect.

As an adjective reflex is

bent, turned back or reflected.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) twicchen, from (etyl) twiccian, from (etyl) ).


  • A brief, small (sometimes involuntary) movement out of place and then back again; a spasm.
  • I saw a little twitch in the man's face, and knew he was lying.
  • (informal) Action of spotting or seeking out a bird, especially a rare one.
  • (farriery) A stick with a hole in one end through which passes a loop, which can be drawn tightly over the upper lip or an ear of a horse and twisted to keep the animal quiet during minor surgery.
  • Derived terms
    * nervous twitch


  • To perform a twitch; spasm.
  • * (rfdate) — [http://www.mindspring.com/~randyhoward/new_page_6.htm]
  • "Why is it that you twitch whenever I say Faith?"
  • * 1922 , (Margery Williams), (The Velveteen Rabbit)
  • *:Their feet padded softly on the ground, and they crept quite close to him, twitching their noses...
  • To jerk sharply and briefly.
  • to twitch somebody's sleeve for attention
  • * Alexander Pope
  • Thrice they twitched the diamond in her ear.
  • To spot or seek out a bird, especially a rare one.
  • * 1995 , Quarterly Review of Biology vol. 70 p. 348:
  • "The Birdwatchers Handbook ... will be a clear asset to those who 'twitch' in Europe."
  • * 2003 , Mark Cocker, Birders: Tales of a Tribe [http://books.google.com/books?id=tv-Noj1Fvc0C], ISBN 0802139965, page 52:
  • "But the key revelation from twitching that wonderful Iceland Gull on 10 March 1974 wasn't its eroticism. It was the sheer innocence of it."
  • * 2005 , Sean Dooley, The Big Twitch: One Man, One Continent, a Race Against Time [http://books.google.com/books?id=fWLmpqL4EMsC], ISBN 1741145287, page 119:
  • "I hadn't seen John since I went to Adelaide to (unsuccessfully) twitch the '87 Northern Shoveler, when I was a skinny, eighteen- year-old kid. "
    Usage notes
    When used of birdwatchers by ignorant outsiders, this term frequently carries a negative connotation.
    Derived terms
    * atwitch

    Etymology 2

    alternate of quitch


  • couch grass, Elymus repens ; a species of grass, often considered as a weed.
  • reflex


    (wikipedia reflex)


  • An automatic response to a simple stimulus which does not require mental processing.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2012 , date=May 5 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool , work=BBC Sport citation , page= , passage=He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes to deflect his header on to the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool's insistent protests that the ball had crossed the line but referee Phil Dowd and assistant referee Andrew Garratt waved play on, with even a succession of replays proving inconclusive.}}
  • (linguistics) the descendant of an earlier language element, such as a word or phoneme, in a daughter language
  • (obsolete) Reflection; the light reflected from an illuminated surface to one in shade.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Yon gray is not the morning's eye, / 'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow.
  • * Tennyson
  • On the depths of death there swims / The reflex of a human face.


    (en adjective)
  • Bent, turned back or reflected.
  • * Sir M. Hale
  • the reflex act of the soul, or the turning of the intellectual eye inward upon its own actions
  • Produced automatically by a stimulus.
  • (geometry, of an angle) Having greater than 180 degrees but less than 360 degrees.
  • * 1878 , James Maurice Wilson, Elementary Geometry , MacMillan, page 10:
  • A polygon is said to be convex when no one of its angles is reflex .
  • * 1895 , David Eugen Smith and Wooster Woodruff Bernan, New Plane and Solid Geometry , page 7:
  • An angle less than a right angle is said to be acute''; one greater than a right angle but less than a straight angle is said to be ''obtuse''; one greater than a straight angle but less than a perigon is said to be ''reflex'' or ''convex .
  • * 1958 , Howard Fehr, “On Teaching Dihedral Angle and Steradian” in The Mathematics Teacher , v 51, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, page 275:
  • If the reflex' region is the interior of the angle, the dihedral angle is ' reflex .
  • * 1991 , B. Falcidieno et al, “Configurable Representations in Feature-based Modelling” in Eurographics '91: Proceedings , North-Holland, page 145:
  • A reflex edge of a polyhedron is an edge where the inner dihedral angle subtended by two incident faces is greater than 180°.
  • * 2001 , Esther M. Arkin et al, “On the Reflexivity of Point Sets”, in Algorithms and data structures: 7th International Workshop, WADS 2001: Proceedings , Springer, page 195:
  • We say that an angle is convex if it is not reflex .
  • * 2004 , Ana Paula Tomás and António Leslie Bajuelos, “Quadratic-Time Linear-Space Algorithms Generating Orthogonal Polygons with a Given Number of Vertices”, in Computational Science and Its Applications – ICCSA 2004 Proceedings , part 3, Springer, page 117:
  • P'' denotes a polygon and ''r the number of reflex vertices.
  • (photography) Of a camera or camera mechanism, using a mirror to reflect the image onto a ground-glass viewfinder, allowing the photographer to see it up to the moment of exposure.
  • Synonyms

    * (of an angle) re-entrant

    Derived terms

    * reflex camera * reflex mirror * reflex viewfinder * single-lens reflex, single lens reflex, SLR * twin-lens reflex, twin lens reflex, TLR, dual-lens reflex


  • to bend, turn back or reflect
  • to respond to a stimulus
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