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

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 Weak demand in China has been a key reason, as well as many companies’ reluctance to charge more for their goods and services. Weilun Soon, WSJ, 17 Sep. 2022 And within Britain, at the heart of some people’s reluctance toward the new king is not so much a distaste for hereditary privilege or the shadow of colonialism but the ghost of Diana. Amanda Ferguson, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2022 But the Queen also personified her country’s reluctance to come to terms with that change. Cassie Werber, Quartz, 8 Sep. 2022 Although the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, the coronavirus is continuing to hamper return-to-office plans as fears of getting sick fuel worker reluctance. Taylor Telford,, 31 Aug. 2022 Dolasinski believes that despite the ongoing nature of COVID-19 and some reluctance to travel, there remains a market to capture. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 23 Aug. 2022 The Biden administration’s reluctance to acknowledge the necessary role of fossil fuels in an energy transition certainly angered many CEOs. Claire Zillman, Fortune, 22 Aug. 2022 Bearden and Birdwell had met at Woody's Tavern to discuss the latter's reluctance to sign divorce papers. Chris Harris, Peoplemag, 22 Aug. 2022 But police, prosecutors and counselors say the true number is likely far larger, in part because of reluctance to report such attacks. Los Angeles Times, 21 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of reluctance

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reluctance

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The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

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reluctance cartridge

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reluctance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on reluctance

Nglish: Translation of reluctance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reluctance for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about reluctance


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