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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Especially in intergenerational conversations, there's reluctance to talk about pain and more violent experiences. Bon Appétit, "My Farm’s CSA Has Become a Refuge for Asian Americans," 28 Apr. 2021 There is, however, still an institutional reluctance within the Fed to push this too far. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Climate and Central Banks: Regulators Doing What They Shouldn’t," 17 Apr. 2021 Among journalists who say they have been harassed following segments on Carlson’s show, there is a reluctance to speak publicly about what happened for fear of inciting a new round of negative attention and hostility. Washington Post, "Tucker Carlson villainizes journalists on his top-rated show. Then the threats pour in.," 15 Apr. 2021 There was a reluctance on the day to respond in real-time. NBC News, "Meet the Press - April 11, 2021," 11 Apr. 2021 When theaters start reopening to actual safe attendance, there is going to be some initial reluctance rather than a mad dash for seats. Mark Hughes, Forbes, "Review: Zack Snyder’s Justice League Is The Ultimate DC Superhero Movie," 17 Mar. 2021 One glaring issue is the reluctance of many California counties to sign contracts with Blue Shield, selected by the Newsom administration to oversee all vaccine distribution in the state. John Myers, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Newsom’s big speech as the recall looms," 8 Mar. 2021 Because one of the biggest roadblocks to subduing COVID-19 could be the reluctance to be vaccinated, a passport could be a strong incentive for inoculation. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "To open the economy quicker, should the U.S. consider a “green passport” like Israel?," 5 Mar. 2021 Health officials in the nation’s capital are hoping Smith and other Black religious leaders will serve as community influencers to overcome what officials say is a persistent vaccine reluctance in the Black community. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Preaching vaccines, bonnet scheme, well water: News from around our 50 states," 22 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of reluctance

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reluctance

Time Traveler for reluctance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

See more words from the same year

Statistics for reluctance

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reluctance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!