Medical Definition of Knee-jerk

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Knee-jerk: Adjective meaning readily predictable to the point of being automatic. Knee-jerk often has a negative connotation and conveys the idea of an all-too-hasty, impulsive, irrational response based on a preset idea. For example, a dictator's knee-jerk response to a democratic movement is to suppress it. The term is derived from the reaction which has been so often tested as to become a familiar figure of speech.

For more about the knee-jerk reaction, see: Knee jerk.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors