taciturn was our Word of the Day on 12/14/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of taciturn in a Sentence
- I went on speech strike … remaining defiantly taciturn through a procession of speech therapists and psychotherapists, verbalizing only to the gardener and swearing him to silence. —Simon Schama, New Republic, 22 July 2002
- The pipe-smoking Malcolm Cowley … though a faithful fellow-traveller, was too taciturn usually to show his hand. —Mary McCarthy, Granta 27, Summer 1989
- She was a small, taut, pale, wiry London girl, alarmingly taciturn, demon at basketball (at which she captained us) … —Elizabeth Bowen, The Mulberry Tree, 1986
- When he got to the substation that night, this private taciturn fellow had to spill his guts. If he didn't tell somebody, he might blow like a land mine. —Joseph Wambaugh, Lines and Shadows, 1984
a somewhat taciturn young man
a taciturn man, he almost never initiates a conversation
Recent Examples of taciturn from the Web
On his first trip to China earlier this year, the taciturn former Exxon Mobil executive appeared uncomfortable with the ritual of making pleasant opening remarks before getting down to the substance of the talks away from the cameras.
The taciturn beasts have also locally wiped out tasty plants such as the quandong, a delicious fruit in the sandalwood family.
As soon as the news of Barthes’s accident is out, President Giscard d’Estaing, facing an upcoming election against Mitterrand, charges a taciturn officer named Bayard to look into the matter.
After waiting more than three decades to return to his replicant hunter Rick Deckard from the 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner, the taciturn Ford, 75, didn't want to waste too much time talking.
The taciturn Shepard, who grew up on a California ranch, was a man of few words who nevertheless produced 44 plays and numerous books, memoirs and short stories.
Gregg, who had come to Korea after nearly a decade with CIA in Japan, was a lousy source, remote and taciturn.
Both writers are intent on demythologizing the American West, retaining the best of the frontier spirit—the self-reliance, the stoicism, the taciturn wit—while conjuring its worst aspects.
After the death of his part-time boyfriend, a taciturn German pastry chef moves to Jerusalem to work in the cafe of his lover's widow in The Cakemaker (Der Kuchenmacher), the debut feature from Israeli writer-director Ofir Raul Graizer.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'taciturn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
How Should You Use taciturn?
We first find "taciturn" in a satiric drama written in 1734 by James Miller, a British clergyman educated at Oxford. A character describes a nephew thus: "When he was little, he never was what they call Roguish or Waggish, but was always close, quiet, and taciturn." It seems we waited unduly long to adopt this useful descendent of the verb tacēre, meaning "to be silent" - we were quicker to adopt other words from the "tacēre" family. We’ve been using "tacit," an adjective meaning "expressed without words" or "implied," since the mid-17th century. And we’ve had the noun taciturnity, meaning "habitual silence," since at least 1450.
Synonymsclosemouthed, dumb, laconic, reserved, reticent, silent, tight-lipped, uncommunicative
Antonymsblabby, chatty, communicative, conversational, gabby, garrulous, loquacious, motormouthed, mouthy, talkative, talky, unreserved
Related Wordsaloof, indrawn, inhibited, introverted, reserved, restrained; sedate, self-contained, sober, staid; backward, bashful, coy, demure, diffident, modest, retiring, self-effacing, sheepish
Near Antonymsfree-spoken, outspoken, vocal; gossipy, talebearing; diffuse, long-winded, prolix, rambling, verbose, windy, wordy; extroverted (also extraverted), gregarious, outgoing, sociable
Synonym Discussion of taciturn
- the strong, silent type
- taciturn villagers
- was reticent about his plans
- greetings were brief, formal, and reserved
- the secretive research and development division
TACITURN Defined for English Language Learners
Seen and Heard
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