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

Some analysts believe the Canadian banks’ reticence won’t last too long. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "U.S. Banks Too Pricey for Would-Be Canadian Buyers," 5 Dec. 2018 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

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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Statistics for reticence

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for reticence

The first known use of reticence was in 1603

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