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reluctant Line breaks: re|luc¦tant
Pronunciation: /rɪˈlʌkt(ə)nt/

Definition of reluctant in English:


Unwilling and hesitant; disinclined: [with infinitive]: she seemed reluctant to answer
More example sentences
  • 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?
unwilling, disinclined, unenthusiastic, grudging, resistant, resisting, opposed, antipathetic;
shy, bashful, coy, retiring, diffident, reserved, restrained, withdrawn, shrinking, timid, timorous, sheepish, unconfident, insecure, unsure, suspicious, unassertive;
apprehensive, fearful
rare costive
loath, unwilling, disinclined, not in the mood, indisposed, sorry, averse, slow;
chary of, not in favour of, against, opposed to;
hesitant about, diffident about, bashful about, shy about, coy about;
ashamed to, afraid to


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’.

Definition of reluctant in:
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