1. of or relating to a knee-jerk.
  2. Informal. reacting according to a certain habitual manner; unthinking: a knee-jerk liberal.


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


  1. Also called: patellar reflex physiol an outward reflex kick of the lower leg caused by a sharp tap on the quadriceps tendon just below the patella

adjective kneejerk

  1. made or occurring as a predictable and automatic response, without thoughtkneejerk support

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


  1. patellar reflex

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