V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: 1. unwilling or disinclined to talk; 2. reluctant to draw attention to oneself; 3. cool and formal in manner--reserved

Synonyms: silent, hesitant, shy, reserved, restrained, taciturn, reluctant

Antonyms: frank, unreserved

Tips: In its traditional sense, reticent means "reluctant to speak." Thus, reticent is more closely a synonym for silent than it is for reluctant: "He was reticent (silent, quiet) about discussing his former job because he was fired and left on bad terms." Reticent is, however, increasingly seen in contexts in which it conveys other kinds of reluctance: "He was reticent to travel so much." This is regarded as a misuse, and in this instance, the word "reluctant" conveys the meaning more effectively.

Usage Examples:

I thought he was unusually reticent when we were discussing the missing office supplies. (silent, reserved)

Most people are reticent about opening up to a new boss. (shy, hesitant)

The investors were reticent about giving the company more money until they reviewed the financial statements. (reserved)

Since he was recently fired from his job, he was reticent about discussing his previous employment. (reserved, taciturn)

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