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 Democrats have repeatedly expressed a reluctance to get bogged down in legal proceedings and leaders are committed not to lose the momentum of the public impeachment hearings, which are on course to feature a dozen witnesses in less than two weeks. Author: Karoun Demirjian, Anchorage Daily News, "Sondland’s testimony advances likely impeachment charge of obstruction," 21 Nov. 2019 Danka cites several reasons for their reluctance to change. Paige Embry, Scientific American, "Beekeepers Seek Resistance to the Honeybee’s Most Fearsome Enemy," 1 Oct. 2019 Since meeting with Erdogan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Japan last month, Trump has expressed reluctance to aides and lawmakers about signing off on sanctions against Turkey, administration officials said. NBC News, "Trump asks GOP Senators for 'flexibility' on Turkey sanctions," 24 July 2019 Other corporate concerns include the FBI’s historical opposition to paying ransoms and its reluctance to share intelligence with victims about who might be behind the attack — information that is often considered classified. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "Like Voldemort, Ransomware Is Too Scary to Be Named," 23 Dec. 2019 Their apparent reluctance to lend in September was a central reason for the spike in interest rates. The Economist, "Free exchange Despite the Fed’s efforts, the repo market risks more turbulence," 18 Dec. 2019 Though Kim and Khloé have found themselves at odds with their sister over her reluctance to open up to the cameras, both seemed to sympathize with her in Sunday's episode. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Khloé Kardashian Transformed Into Kris Jenner and Looked Like Her Mom's Twin," 16 Dec. 2019 YouTube has faced criticism over its reluctance to remove homophobic and racist videos and for allowing misogynistic content to be shared. Fortune, "Meena Harris, Niece of Kamala Harris, On Why Her Aunt’s Campaign Was So ‘Courageous’," 12 Dec. 2019 But many who were once excited by his fairy-tale rise grew wary of his reluctance to leave power. Author: Paola Flores And Carlos Valdez, Anchorage Daily News, "Bolivia’s president resigns amid election-fraud allegations," 11 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for reluctance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reluctance was in 1629

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Statistics for reluctance

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reluctance.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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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

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


dull or mediocre

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