re·​luc·​tance | \ ri-ˈlək-tən(t)s How to pronounce reluctance (audio) \

Definition of reluctance

1 : the quality or state of being reluctant
2 : the opposition offered in a magnetic circuit to magnetic flux specifically : the ratio of the magnetic potential difference to the corresponding flux

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Examples of reluctance in a Sentence

the mice showed an odd reluctance to eat the cheese we had put out for them
Recent Examples on the Web Their reluctance to repeat history is understandable, even if the amounts involved are different this time around. Larry Edelman,, "Biden’s COVID relief package is flawed. But we can’t afford to wait for perfection," 10 Feb. 2021 Schumer, however, has not budged in his reluctance to take that option off the table if Republicans block Democrats’ agenda. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy, sponsored by EFP: Biden playing catch-up on green manufacturing," 25 Jan. 2021 Though tribal communities have been disproportionately ravaged by COVID-19 nationwide, Passes is not alone in her reluctance. Jessica Flores, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: Unemployment benefits expire for millions of Americans; more infectious UK strain edges closer to US," 28 Dec. 2020 The move signaled a turning point within the office, long known among lawyers for its reluctance to admit mistakes and misbehavior. New York Times, "Queens Prosecutors Long Overlooked Misconduct. Can a New D.A. Do Better?," 27 Jan. 2021 On Episode 23 of The Politics of Everything, hosts Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene talk with the writer Richard Cooke about why, and what our historical reluctance to work from home augurs for the future. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, "Against Remote Work," 13 Jan. 2021 The holdouts have multiple reasons for their reluctance. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Too Many Americans Still Mistrust the COVID-19 Vaccines. Here's Why," 5 Jan. 2021 For more than a century, the government’s focus on suppressing any and all California fires factored into its reluctance to embrace prescribed fire. J.d. Morris,, "California must burn more of its forests to save them. Is the public ready?," 28 Dec. 2020 It’s written in the taut lines of his brooding presence and that undeniable smolder designed to leave marriageable misses weak at the knees, despite his own reluctance to marry. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Bridgerton star Regé-Jean Page talks masculinity, joy, and romanticism," 26 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reluctance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reluctance

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reluctance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

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Statistics for reluctance

Last Updated

16 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reluctance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for reluctance


re·​luc·​tance | \ ri-ˈlək-təns How to pronounce reluctance (audio) \

Kids Definition of reluctance

: the quality or state of showing doubt or unwillingness

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Comments on reluctance

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