knee-jerk

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EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

knee +‎ jerk, First attested 1876, obviously derived from a figurative sense of the patellar reflex.

AdjectiveEdit

knee-jerk ‎(comparative more knee-jerk, superlative most knee-jerk)

  1. Unthinking, not carefully considered, (nearly) automatic, spontaneous, easily predictable
    He gave a knee-jerk response.

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NounEdit

knee-jerk ‎(plural knee-jerks)

  1. A sudden reflexive movement of the leg below the knee, as a reaction to a tap to the tendon just below the patella (kneecap).

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