Synonym Chooser

How is the word taciturn distinct from other similar adjectives?

Some common synonyms of taciturn are reserved, reticent, secretive, and silent. While all these words mean "showing restraint in speaking," taciturn implies a temperamental disinclination to speech and usually connotes unsociability.

taciturn villagers

When would reserved be a good substitute for taciturn?

The synonyms reserved and taciturn are sometimes interchangeable, but 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 taciturn?

The words reticent and taciturn can be used in similar contexts, but reticent implies a reluctance to speak out or at length, especially about one's own affairs.

was reticent about his plans

Where would secretive be a reasonable alternative to taciturn?

Although the words secretive and taciturn have much in common, 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 taciturn?

The words silent and taciturn are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, silent implies a habit of saying no more than is needed.

the strong, silent type


Thesaurus Entries Near taciturn

Cite this Entry

“Taciturn.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/taciturn. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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