adjective tac·i·turn \ˈta-sə-ˌtərn\

: tending to be quiet : not speaking frequently

Full Definition of TACITURN

:  temperamentally disinclined to talk
tac·i·tur·ni·ty \ˌta-sə-ˈtər-nə-tē\ noun

Examples of TACITURN

  1. a somewhat taciturn young man
  2. <a taciturn man, he almost never initiates a conversation>
  3. I went on speech strike … remaining defiantly taciturn through a procession of speech therapists and psychotherapists, verbalizing only to the gardener and swearing him to silence. —Simon Schama, New Republic, 22 July 2002

Origin of TACITURN

French or Latin; French taciturne, from Middle French, from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus (see tacit)
First Known Use: 1734

Synonym Discussion of TACITURN

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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