knee-jerk reaction

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - knee-jerk reaction

"knee-jerk reaction"

an automatic or reflex reaction;

an immediate reaction made without examining causes or facts


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - knee-jerk reaction

Two friends are walking down a busy street ...

Friend 1:  Why are you ducking down behind that car?

Friend 2:  I don't want to be shot.

Friend 1:  That wasn't a gunshot. It was a car backfiring.

Friend 2:  It's a knee-jerk reaction from growing up on the mean streets of Buffalo where shootings are very common.

Friend 1:  I suppose that would be a life-saving reflex there.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - knee-jerk reaction

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  The sales presentation is just about to start and my assistant has not delivered the printed material for the clients. I am going to fire my assistant.

Colleague 2:  That seems like a knee-jerk reaction.

Colleague 1:  I will not reward incompetence.

Colleague 2:  Perhaps if you were aware of all the facts, you wouldn't be so hasty. I just had a call from your assistant to tell me that the photocopier had broken down and she is on her way back from a local printer with the material.

Colleague 1:  Wow. That shows some real initiative. Perhaps I was a little hasty in wanting to fire her.


knee-jerk reaction - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   813   click for frequency by country

knee-jerk reaction - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for knee-jerk reaction.

knee-jerk reaction - Examples:

1)  Following the incident, the knee-jerk reaction was to pull British tourists out of Tunisia.

2)  ... when companies providing a nationwide service or supplying goods lose money, there is a knee-jerk reaction to cut those provided in areas of scattered population.

3)  ... at best, superfluous, and, at worst, dysfunctional. This is a knee-jerk reaction to the complex demands of a modern society. Instead of figuring out for ...

4)  You had to keep pushing people so that their first knee-jerk reaction isn't the answer. There were probably 16, 17 different concepts.

5)  But very quickly, people started to think through that knee-jerk reaction and consider the fact that the stated policies ...

6)  Anti-dengue activism is more seen as a knee-jerk reaction to worsening dengue endemicity than an ongoing process.

7)  ... we now live in an era of rampant, rapid-fire hysteria and knee-jerk reaction

8)  ... said the law was "a knee-jerk reaction" which had "no long-term planning".

9)  ... would passionately applaud any sincere initiative capable of such, not any knee-jerk reaction devoid of any semblance of seriousness and sincerity.

10)  It is not a knee-jerk reaction. It would be a considered reaction bearing in mind evidence that has been ...

11)  When I first came across this picture, my knee-jerk reaction was to recoil. It looked weird to me and I couldn't put ...

12)  After the Fed's announcement, the sector did not see any knee-jerk reaction because the expectation had already been priced in.

13)  This shows that the movement does offer practical alternatives and is not simply a knee-jerk reaction to government.

14)  So focused are we on being self-sufficient these days that it's almost a knee-jerk reaction to turn down an offer of assistance.

15)  The current sentencing regime was largely a knee-jerk reaction to crime, not grounded in any scientific rationale.

16)  ... still think the recent surge in bond yields is more of a knee-jerk reaction than a definitive start of a new trend.

17)  We won't be rushing to any knee-jerk reaction that would be expected of trade unions at this time.

18)  ... institutions increasingly started adding "blended learning" programmes haphazardly, either as a knee-jerk reaction to external pressures, or as an attempt to jump on the bandwagon of ...

19)  It is almost like a knee-jerk reaction for me to express anger when I watch the news these days.

20)  A common knee-jerk reaction to a cyberattack -- wherever it happens -- is to clamp down on access ...