Dictionary

reticent

adjective ret·i·cent \ˈre-tə-sənt\

: not willing to tell people about things

Full Definition of RETICENT

1
:  inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech :  reserved
2
:  restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance <the room has an aspect of reticent dignity — A. N. Whitehead>
3
:  reluctant
ret·i·cent·ly adverb

Examples of RETICENT

  1. <the panel decided to investigate the fraud charges against the company, which has always been reticent about its internal operations>
  2. <her husband is by nature a reticent person, and she resigned herself to that fact long ago>
  3. … his friends and associates are conspicuously reticent to discuss him in public. —Martin Flanagan, Manchester Guardian Weekly, 29 Dec. 1991

Origin of RETICENT

Latin reticent-, reticens, present participle of reticēre to keep silent, from re- + tacēre to be silent — more at tacit
First Known Use: circa 1834

Synonym Discussion of RETICENT

silent, taciturn, reticent, reserved, secretive mean showing restraint in speaking. silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed <the strong, silent type>. taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability <taciturn villagers>. reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs <was reticent about his plans>. reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange <greetings were brief, formal, and reserved>. secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal <the secretive research and development division>.

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