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

Examples of reticence in a Sentence

the publisher's reticence to make content available online for free
Recent Examples on the Web For elderly immigrants in particular, language barriers precluded them from accessing social services, and their own reticence to inconvenience people with their needs kept them silent. Karissa Chen, Bon Appétit, 31 May 2022 Thomas, who once went a decade without asking a question from the Supreme Court bench, has lately shed his reticence and is an active participant in oral arguments. Adam Liptak,, 14 May 2022 Democrats, anti-Trump Republicans and even President Biden have been frustrated with Mr. Garland over his apparent reticence to investigate Mr. Trump for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 election. New York Times, 12 May 2022 This reticence is felt similarly in America, but US regulators are looking at ways to facilitate a stable market rather than ban the new financial phenomenon. Carolyn Campbell, Quartz, 11 Apr. 2022 According to Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, there were some good reasons for this reticence. Grace Huckins, Wired, 15 Dec. 2021 The reticence to punish aggressive tech investors isn’t necessarily a surprise. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 31 May 2022 That reticence is due, in part, to a fear of retribution. New York Times, 12 Apr. 2022 But much of Democratic leaders’ reticence flows from their knowledge of how the issue of crime can block their criminal justice reform agenda. Los Angeles Times, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of reticence

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of reticence was in 1603

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reticence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reticence

Nglish: Translation of reticence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reticence for Arabic Speakers


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