- There are a lot of people, though, who would be very reluctant to let our traditional flag go.
- But people appear increasingly reluctant to intervene in public places.
- What on earth could be in our files that made them so reluctant to give us access?
Mid 17th century (in the sense 'writhing, offering opposition'): from Latin reluctant- 'struggling against', from the verb reluctari, from re- (expressing intensive force) + luctari 'to struggle'.
This is a word that has lost much of its strength. The early sense was ‘writhing, offering opposition’ as in Milton's Paradise Lost: ‘Down he fell A Monstrous Serpent on his Belly prone, Reluctant, but in vain’ (1667). It is from Latin reluctari ‘struggle against’.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: re|luc¦tant
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