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

The quicker getting there, the better. My wife still occasionally brings up my reluctance years ago to driving the clan to see Mount Rushmore. Rubén Rosario, Twin Cities, "Rosario: This father-son road trip was one for the books," 30 June 2019 Eventually, and with reluctance, America agreed to reflag and escort Kuwaiti vessels through the area. The Economist, "Iran is blowing up ships in the Gulf, says America," 14 June 2019 There's a bigger issue at play, here - the issue of Anna's lack of responsibility with her expensive gift, and her reluctance to clean her messy room. Ellie Delano, Woman's Day, "WWMRD (What Would My Readers Do?)," 20 Dec. 2012 Security camera captures odd creature, and viewers have theories For sure, some people cited the affordability of broadband as the reason for their reluctance. Edward Baig, USA TODAY, "How do you go online? More of you are choosing phone over home broadband, Pew survey says," 13 June 2019 His reluctance to begin an impeachment inquiry is shared by a majority of Democrats who control the House of Representatives. Anthony Man,, "At South Florida town hall, congressman urges cautious approach toward impeaching Trump," 7 June 2019 But his reluctance to address Russia’s political murders is not a sharp departure from past presidents’ responses. Amy Knight, The New York Review of Books, "The Crime of the Century," 21 Mar. 2019 The biggest change would be a reluctance to use the forces Labour has pledged to fund so lavishly. The Economist, "The Corbyn doctrine on foreign policy," 6 June 2019 There was no reluctance on Serena Williams’s part on Sunday to discuss a recent Deadspin article, which highlighted she’s been drug-tested by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) more than any other American tennis player this year. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Serena Williams questions frequency of her drug tests," 1 July 2018

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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Statistics for reluctance

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for reluctance

The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

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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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characterized by aphorism

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