Synonyms & Antonyms of reluctant

slow to begin or proceed with a course of action because of doubts or uncertainty
  • I'm reluctant to let you borrow my vintage CDs since you never give back anything I lend you

Synonyms for reluctant

Words Related to reluctant

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Antonyms for reluctant

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Frequently Asked Questions About reluctant

How is the word reluctant different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of reluctant are averse, disinclined, hesitant, and loath. While all these words mean "lacking the will or desire to do something indicated," reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness.

a reluctant witness

In what contexts can averse take the place of reluctant?

While the synonyms averse and reluctant are close in meaning, averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance.

averse to hard work

not averse to an occasional drink

Where would disinclined be a reasonable alternative to reluctant?

The words disinclined and reluctant are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination.

disinclined to move again

disinclined for reading

When could hesitant be used to replace reluctant?

Although the words hesitant and reluctant have much in common, hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty.

hesitant about asking for a date

When is it sensible to use loath instead of reluctant?

The meanings of loath and reluctant largely overlap; however, loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking.

seems loath to trust anyone

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Time Traveler for reluctant

Time Traveler

The first known use of reluctant was in 1638

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Cite this Entry

“Reluctant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reluctant

Nglish: Translation of reluctant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reluctant for Arabic Speakers


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