re·​luc·​tance | \ ri-ˈlək-tən(t)s \

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

Trump has faced widespread criticism for his reluctance to act punitively towards Moscow over its interference in the presidential election seventeen months ago. Nash Jenkins, Time, "What to Know About Trump's New Sanctions Against Russia," 6 Apr. 2018 Hathaway's reluctance to be a demure actress may have been one of the reasons people found her off-putting. Morgan Baila,, "We Were Right About Anne Hathaway," 7 June 2018 But the running back's reluctance to talk is a reminder of how sticky this is for the folks who coach and play in the NFL. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump using NFL anthem issue to lather up resentment and hate," 6 June 2018 Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said citizens’ reluctance to vote should be a wake-up call for all politicians. Bouazza Ben Bouazza,, "Islamists expect gains in Tunisia regional elections," 7 May 2018 Their reluctance to attend is understandable, considering that the average reported budget for a close friend's wedding gift was $128, according to the survey., "Wedding gifts that mean (but don't cost) a lot," 6 May 2018 Since the start of the new year, several stars have broached the subject publicly, despite there being a sense of taboo due to South Korea’s deeply ingrained cultural reluctance towards publicly discussing psychological disorders. Tamar Herman, Billboard, "2018 Sees K-pop Stars Addressing Mental Health Stressors in Industry," 23 Apr. 2018 Sugarmann said its reluctance to disclose corporate donors is not surprising since this would show that the NRA has evolved from a gun owner's organization into a lobby for the gun industry. Deutsche Welle, USA TODAY, "In little-known fact, European gun-makers flood the U.S. with millions of firearms," 15 Mar. 2018 Again, Hart’s reluctance to engage the debate around his tweets stems back years. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why the Kevin Hart Oscars backlash is different from other recent public shamings," 5 Jan. 2019

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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Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for reluctance

The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

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re·​luc·​tance | \ ri-ˈlək-təns \

Kids Definition of reluctance

: the quality or state of showing doubt or unwillingness

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Comments on reluctance

What made you want to look up reluctance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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