Definition of reluctant in English:



  • Unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

    with infinitive ‘she seemed reluctant to answer’
    • ‘He is the reluctant hero forced to deal with the forces of coincidence and fate.’
    • ‘But investors are reluctant to take on long-term risk given the uncertainties over the economy.’
    • ‘The reluctant heroes are whisked off into space for their biggest role ever.’
    • ‘In the past, companies were reluctant to share information with suppliers.’
    • ‘The answer did not completely satisfy the other young woman, but she nodded in reluctant acceptance.’
    • ‘Even boys - traditionally reluctant readers - were devouring it under the blankets.’
    • ‘Government officials always seem so reluctant to define qualifications for recipients of social welfare.’
    • ‘Oddly enough, he found himself reluctant to share any specifics of that night.’
    • ‘The events of the past week will make foreign governments extremely reluctant to put their citizens at risk.’
    • ‘People are somewhat more reluctant to talk to foreigners than they were at the beginning.’
    • ‘Courts are rightly reluctant to judge what statements in political ads are merely misleading.’
    • ‘Still, counterterrorism agencies remain reluctant to share sensitive information or cooperate on prosecutions.’
    • ‘What on earth could be in our files that made them so reluctant to give us access?’
    • ‘In fact, I found myself reluctant to skip any topic in the book.’
    • ‘Though the Supreme Court has now endorsed the reform process, most of its members were reluctant converts at best.’
    • ‘Today, many ordinary people are still reluctant to talk about politics.’
    • ‘But that would entail spending money the company is reluctant to spend right now.’
    • ‘But people appear increasingly reluctant to intervene in public places.’
    • ‘The government is reluctant to impose higher standards for staffing because of concerns over cost.’
    • ‘There are a lot of people, though, who would be very reluctant to let our traditional flag go.’
    unwilling, disinclined, unenthusiastic, grudging, resistant, resisting, opposed, antipathetic
    shy, bashful, coy, retiring, diffident, reserved, restrained, withdrawn, shrinking, timid, timorous, sheepish, unconfident, insecure, unsure, suspicious, unassertive
    loath, unwilling, disinclined, not in the mood, indisposed, sorry, averse, slow
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Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘writhing, offering opposition’): from Latin reluctant- ‘struggling against’, from the verb reluctari, from re- (expressing intensive force) + luctari ‘to struggle’.