re·​luc·​tant·​ly ri-ˈlək-tənt-lē How to pronounce reluctantly (audio)
: in a reluctant manner : with aversion or hesitation
The quiet resolution in his voice penetrated her racing thoughts. Reluctantly she gave him a corner of her attention.Elizabeth George Speare
He is about to release 'Thriller,' and today he's agreed, reluctantly, to sit for the Rolling Stone cover.Gerri Hirshey
Kirsti had gone to bed reluctantly, complaining that she wanted to stay up with the others, that she was grownup enough, … that it wasn't fair.Lois Lowry

Examples of reluctantly in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dunst plays Lee Smith, a seasoned and tenacious war photographer who reluctantly becomes a mentor to Cailee Spaeny’s aspiring photographer, Jessie Cullen. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2024 The six unlikely heroes reluctantly take on the task of bringing the only vaccine against the plague of idiots to a safe place, where Norway’s smartest minds have sought refuge. Annika Pham, Variety, 7 Apr. 2024 This leads the team to Rep. Shirley Ives (Mandy Levin), who led the hearing and reluctantly shows Parker and Vance (Rocky Carroll) footage of Greene spotting a flying vehicle performing right-angle turns, avoiding radar, and reversing directions on a dime. Sara Netzley,, 1 Apr. 2024 Hugo’s loaded night also includes serving as a team flag bearer during pregame introductions, on top of the several excursions through the crowd, jokingly shunning fans in opposing jerseys before reluctantly giving them high fives or playfully posing for pictures. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 28 Mar. 2024 When Trump reluctantly left the White House, his judicial picks made up one-third of the Supreme Court, nearly one-third of the 13 appeals courts and more than a quarter of the 94 district courts. Jackie Calmes, The Mercury News, 19 Mar. 2024 Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, an up-and-coming FBI agent who reluctantly consults imprisoned murderer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to track down a dangerous serial killer. Wesley Stenzel,, 27 Mar. 2024 In 2002, Dubrovka forced Moscow reluctantly yet closer to the United States’ war on terror. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 23 Mar. 2024 Procter & Gamble put up a spirited defense to Mr. Peltz’s proxy campaign but, after a narrow loss, reluctantly welcomed Mr. Peltz into the boardroom in 2017. Lauren Hirsch, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reluctantly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reluctantly was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near reluctantly

Cite this Entry

“Reluctantly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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