English Phrases : Knee-Jerk





What does Knee-Jerk response mean?

By Mrs. Mireille, Philippines, 30th June-2007

You know sometimes when you go to a doctor, he hits you on the knee with a rubber hammer. When he does that the leg shoots up automatically.

That is what the expression knee-jerk reaction or response means. It means to do something quickly and automatically, without too much thinking.

Here are few examples.

• When the politician said that he would attend the function, it was only a knee-jerk reaction.

• Every time I see Sujatha, I wince. That's only a knee-jerk reaction.

• Tell me, what do you think I should do? Don't give me a knee- jerk response.




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