ret·​i·​cence | \ ˈre-tə-sən(t)s How to pronounce reticence (audio) \

Definition of reticence

1 : the quality or state of being reticent : reserve, restraint
2 : an instance of being reticent

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Examples of reticence in a Sentence

the publisher's reticence to make content available online for free
Recent Examples on the Web This is a funny riff on the reticence and mistrust that's out there. Andy Hoglund,, "Saturday Night Live recap: Daniel Kaluuya makes his hosting debut," 4 Apr. 2021 His mom blames the reticence of the school district to reopen, despite gaining authorization from county and state health officials to do so months ago. Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Anxiety, depression, isolation: Bay Area students struggle amid spiking mental health crisis," 4 Apr. 2021 Nuwer said, however, news of these deaths is sometimes slow to emerge because of criminal investigations or the reticence of some to speak. Chris Quintana, USA Today, "Two fraternity deaths in two months. COVID didn't stop hazing - it hid it away from 'watchful eyes'," 27 Mar. 2021 Physicians’ reticence to institute palliative care is compounded by misunderstanding. Mireille Jacobson, STAT, "Palliative care works, so why is it rarely used? Follow the money," 24 Mar. 2021 The reasons behind the vaccinees’ reticence ran the gamut: Some worried that they would be accused of line hopping; others were wary of exposing the criteria that had qualified them. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "People Are Keeping Their Vaccines Secret," 11 Mar. 2021 The high marks the administration has received up to this point from the media may ironically be contributing to the president’s reticence to speak to the press. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Joe Biden Hasn’t Held a Press Conference. Who Cares?," 16 Mar. 2021 My Hat’ to Trump Admin for Vaccine Development, Distribution' Republican reticence to embrace the vaccines is best understood not as anti-vaxxerism, but as a more natural, one-off response to the circumstances. Isaac Schorr, National Review, "Tackling COVID-Vaccine Skepticism inside the Tent," 15 Mar. 2021 But the 71-year-old Baker, who is Black, understands the reticence of some in his community to get the vaccine because of this country’s history with medical studies on Black people without permission. Kristie Rieken Associated Press, The Enquirer, "Dusty Baker opts for COVID-19 vaccination despite reservations," 18 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reticence.' 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 reticence

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for reticence

Time Traveler

The first known use of reticence was in 1603

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Statistics for reticence

Last Updated

12 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reticence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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