reticence

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of reticence in a Sentence

the publisher's reticence to make content available online for free

Recent Examples on the Web

As for why it had never been grappled with, Prince William placed the blame squarely on British people's reticence to discuss their feelings—which, according to him, is the product of history. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Has an Interesting Theory About Why the British Have Trouble Expressing Emotion," 23 Jan. 2019 And there's a reticence at the government level to go in and really do any lugging, cutting, thinning. Fox News, "Trump administration steps up sanctions on Iran, Russia," 12 Aug. 2018 Even among local historians there was a stubborn, inexplicable reticence. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "In 1973, an Arsonist Killed 32 People at a Gay Club. Why Has History Shrugged?," 29 May 2018 Harper Lee scrupulously avoided public attention for decades, a reticence that made the media circus surrounding her final months all the more remarkable. Danny Heitman, WSJ, "‘Atticus Finch: The Biography’ Review: The Writer, Her Father and Atticus Finch," 10 May 2018 But the narrator’s reticence draws attention to the confusion at the center of illnesses that strike at our personhood rather than our person: What part of your body needs help when your mind needs help? New York Times, "In Knausgaard’s ‘Spring,’ a Man Considers How Best to Help His Sick Wife," 6 July 2018 Bush came to be somewhat defensive about his reticence in those days. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "History Gives George Bush His Due," 6 Dec. 2018 While that might be debatable, MacKenzie's historic reticence coupled with the scale of their divorce, makes her a fascinating figure. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Who Will Get the First MacKenzie Bezos Interview?," 10 Jan. 2019 To the extent that the court’s decade-long reticence can be explained by justices being unsure of Anthony Kennedy’s swing vote, that excuse has expired—and only four votes are needed to hear a case. Ilya Shapiro, WSJ, "The Supreme Court Is Too Gun-Shy on the Second Amendment," 2 Jan. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of reticence

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reticence

Dictionary Entries near reticence

retiarius

retiary

reticella

reticence

reticency

reticent

reticle

Statistics for reticence

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reticence

The first known use of reticence was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on reticence

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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