reticent was our Word of the Day on 11/24/2008. Hear the podcast!
Examples of reticent in a Sentence
… his friends and associates are conspicuously reticent to discuss him in public. —Martin Flanagan, Manchester Guardian Weekly, 29 Dec. 1991
… two or three rather reticent abstract paintings. —Jay Jacobs, Gourmet, January 1979
An extremely reticent man, Morris does not like to talk about his experience in personal terms. —Helen Dudar, New York Times Magazine, 30 Oct. 1977
the panel decided to investigate the fraud charges against the company, which has always been reticent about its internal operations
her husband is by nature a reticent person, and she resigned herself to that fact long ago
Recent Examples of reticent from the Web
But Ivey has been unable to gain the votes for much of his legislation in a majority-Republican House that has been reticent to support anything that might raise money.
PARIS — Venus Williams has always tended to be the more reticent sister in terms of giving out personal information in comparison to younger sister, Serena.
With so many cities reticent to take on the mammoth task of staging the Games, there has been talk that IOC members might seek to name two winners at the next vote, awarding 2024 to one city and 2028 to another.
While classical artists, by and large, remain publicly reticent about their politics — this isn’t Hollywood —
The maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers on Tuesday forecast tepid sales growth for 2017 as consumers remain reticent to spend and competition mounts from global and local...
Wanda is planning on twenty more parks in the coming years, and Wang has hardly been reticent about his opposition to Disney.
Beneath the surface of reticent lives—and of Haruf’s calm prose—they prove unexpectedly brave.
Shepard's quiet poise and reticent romanticism made that film's character, a formidable and influential Southern land baron, less intimidating than endearing.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reticent'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The History of Reticent is Less Than 200 Years Old
Reticent first appeared about 170 years ago, but the "reluctant" sense of "reticent" is a mid-20th century introduction. Though it is now well-established, this newer sense bothers some people, particularly because it has veered away from the word's Latin origins - "reticent" is from the verb "reticēre," meaning "to keep silent." But there is some sense in the way the newer meaning developed. We first tended to use the "reluctant" sense of "reticent" when the context was speech (as in "reticent to talk about her past"), thus keeping the word close to its "silent" sense. Eventually, however, exclusive association with speech was abandoned. Now one can be "reticent" to do anything.
Origin and Etymology of reticent
Latin reticent-, reticens, present participle of reticēre to keep silent, from re- + tacēre to be silent — more at tacit
First Known Use: 1825
Synonym Discussion of reticent
RETICENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of reticent for English Language Learners
: not willing to tell people about things
Seen and Heard
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