Definition of reluctant in English:

Share this entry

reluctant

Pronunciation: /rəˈləktənt/

adjective

Unwilling and hesitant; disinclined: [with infinitive]: she seemed reluctant to discuss the matter
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?
Synonyms
unwilling, disinclined, unenthusiastic, resistant, resisting, opposed;
hesitant
shy, bashful, coy, diffident, reserved, timid, timorous
loath to, unwilling to, disinclined to, indisposed to;
not in favor of, against, opposed to

Origin

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'.

More
  • 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

Syllabification: re·luc·tant

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words