Thesaurus

reserved

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of reserved

(Entry 1 of 2)

tending not to speak frequently (as by habit or inclination)
  • a reserved and shy person who was wrongly thought to be stuck-up until someone finally got into a conversation with her

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reserved

verb
past tense of reserve

Synonyms & Antonyms of reserved (Entry 2 of 2)

1 to arrange to have something (as a hotel room) held for one's future use
  • we made sure to reserve a kennel for our dog several months before the start of the family vacation

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2 to continue to have in one's possession or power
  • I'm reserving the right to work by myself if you don't do your share of the project

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3 to keep or intend for a special purpose
  • we must reserve this cup for ceremonial use only

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Frequently Asked Questions About reserved

How is the word reserved distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of reserved are reticent, secretive, silent, and taciturn. While all these words mean "showing restraint in speaking," reserved implies reticence and suggests the restraining influence of caution or formality in checking easy informal conversational exchange.

greetings were brief, formal, and reserved

When could reticent be used to replace reserved?

While the synonyms reticent and reserved are close in meaning, reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs.

was reticent about his plans

When would secretive be a good substitute for reserved?

In some situations, the words secretive and reserved are roughly equivalent. However, secretive, too, implies reticence but usually carries a suggestion of deviousness and lack of frankness or of an often ostentatious will to conceal.

the secretive research and development division

When is it sensible to use silent instead of reserved?

The meanings of silent and reserved largely overlap; however, silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed.

the strong, silent type

Where would taciturn be a reasonable alternative to reserved?

While in some cases nearly identical to reserved, taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability.

taciturn villagers

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Time Traveler for reserved

Time Traveler

The first known use of reserved was in 1601

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Thesaurus Entries Near reserved

reserve

reserved

reservedness

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Cite this Entry

“Reserved.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/reserved. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reserved

Nglish: Translation of reserved for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reserved for Arabic Speakers

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