Definition of reluctant in English:



  • Unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

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    shy, bashful, coy, retiring, diffident, reserved, restrained, withdrawn, shrinking, timid, timorous, sheepish, unconfident, insecure, unsure, suspicious, unassertive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