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[nee-jurk] /ˈniˌdʒɜrk/

of or relating to a knee-jerk.
Informal. reacting according to a certain habitual manner; unthinking:
a knee-jerk liberal.
a reflex extension of the leg, caused by contraction of the quadriceps, resulting from a sharp tap on the patellar tendon; patellar reflex.
(physiol) Also called patellar reflex. an outward reflex kick of the lower leg caused by a sharp tap on the quadriceps tendon just below the patella
made or occurring as a predictable and automatic response, without thought: kneejerk support

patellar reflex, neurological phenomenon discovered and named 1876; the figurative use appeared soon after the phrase was coined.

knee jerk n.
See patellar reflex.


: one more gesture to the knee-jerk hawks in the Congress/ Yet McDonald is no mere knee-jerk critic of the evangelicals



: We need less kneejerking on both sides in these arguments about the environment (1980s+)

[fr the patellar reflex, described as knee jerk by 1876]


Read Also:

  • Knee-jerk reflex

    knee-jerk reflex n. See patellar reflex. A sudden involuntary forward movement of the lower leg that can be produced by a firm tap to the tendon located just below the kneecap. Note: The term is loosely applied to any response or belief that is automatic rather than thoughtful. In this sense, it is usually a […]

  • Knee joint

    knee joint n. A compound condylar joint consisting of the joint between the condyles of the femur and the condyles of the tibia, and the articulation between the femur and the patella.

  • Kneel

    [neel] /nil/ verb (used without object), knelt or kneeled, kneeling. 1. to go down or rest on the knees or a knee. noun 2. the action or position of kneeling. /niːl/ verb kneels, kneeling, knelt, kneeled 1. (intransitive) to rest, fall, or support oneself on one’s knees noun 2. the act or position of kneeling […]

  • Knee-length

    adjective 1. reaching to the knee: a knee-length skirt, knee-length boots

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