knee-jerk

knee jerk

noun
a reflex extension of the leg, caused by contraction of the quadriceps, resulting from a sharp tap on the patellar tendon; patellar reflex.

Origin:
1875–80

Dictionary.com Unabridged

knee-jerk

[nee-jurk]
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to a knee-jerk.
2.
Informal. reacting according to a certain habitual manner; unthinking: a knee-jerk liberal.

Origin:
1895–1900

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
knee jerk
 
n
1.  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
 
modifier
2.  made or occurring as a predictable and automatic response, without thought: kneejerk support

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

knee jerk n.
See patellar reflex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang Dictionary

knee-jerk definition


  1. mod.
    automatic; quick and without thought. : That was only a knee-jerk response. Pay no attention.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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