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

His reluctance to anoint Mullens could also have the effect, intended or not, of signaling to other teams that the 49ers think highly of Beathard and have no interest in dealing him on the cheap. Eric Branch,, "Want Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard? 49ers’ Kyle Shanahan says they won’t be found on waiver wire," 25 Aug. 2019 Messing, 50, and Sarandon, 72, first went head-to-head in March 2016 after Sarandon, an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter, expressed her reluctance to vote for Clinton in a general election against Donald Trump. Claudia Harmata,, "Debra Messing Takes Another Swipe at Susan Sarandon Over Trump: 'Liking the Revolution?'," 13 Aug. 2019 Our biggest hurdles are finding the will to continue in the face of financial barriers and people’s reluctance to embrace new things. Lily Shaw, Twin Cities, "Startup Showcase: Kinetic Legacy switches memory to digital legacy," 11 Aug. 2019 There’s some reluctance among agents to bring forth an investigation that targets what the president perceives as his base. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Trump goes soft on terrorism," 6 Aug. 2019 The Padres have a similar faith, which prompts them to put him in right field and has fueled their reluctance to trade him. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres notes: Lamet’s lament; bullpen bridge; catchers hit; Reyes’ power balance," 25 July 2019 But all too often, Pierce-Bulger said, there’s a reluctance among pregnant women to disclose any alcohol use. Anchorage Daily News, "In search of a better conversation about alcohol and pregnancy," 26 June 2019 So far, the countries have shown reluctance to get involved in the conflict. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: Iran’s high-risk threat," 18 June 2019 The project fits in with his ambition to increase European cooperation at a time when the United States under President Donald Trump is showing an increasing reluctance to support the continent militarily. Fox News, "France, Germany sign European jet fighter deal," 17 June 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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Statistics for reluctance

Last Updated

2 Sep 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

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


recurring in steady succession

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