Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Inclined to keep one's thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs to oneself. See Synonyms at laconic.
2. Restrained or reserved: "The laughter was steady, if reticent" (Bernard Lown).
3. Usage Problem Reluctant; unwilling.

[Latin reticēns, reticent-, present participle of reticēre, to keep silent : re-, re- + tacēre, to be silent.]

ret′i·cence (-səns) adv.
ret′i·cent·ly adv.
Usage Note: Reticent is generally used to indicate a reluctance to speak. Most commentators on usage have criticized its extended use as an all-purpose synonym for reluctant. In our 2001 survey, 83 percent of the Panel found unacceptable the sentence A lot of out-of-towners are reticent to come to the Twin Cities for a ballgame if there's a chance the game will be rained out.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.reticently - with reticence; in a reticent manner; "she answered the questions reticently"


[ˈretɪsəntlɪ] ADVcon reticencia, con reserva


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
sensibility they had reticently shown in the third stasimon.
After Tottenham, City and Liverpool scored a combined 11 away goals last week it was demoralising to witness United approach their own encounter so reticently.
Thus did a stalwart of Philippine journalism sign off, as lightly as a falling leaf, as reticently as he had lived.
Maybe he, she muses, is "like Houdini: / rumored withstanding of any assault, but / in fact it takes only a few well-delivered // blows and a week and He's gone." Rarely, reticently, Shapero subjects herself to the same scrutiny--her title poem admits, halfway through, "I was a hard child, by which /I mean I was callous from the start"--but she would rather tilt the surgical lighthead onto others.
Bertrana admires, somewhat reticently, the "patriotic grandeur" of the French and, more forthrightly, the "heroic resistance" of the Moroccans.
Of the 15 GPs on the course only one had mentioned psychological difficulties to a colleague and one to a partner and both only reticently. (16)
A few landowners have understood that market realities have changed and are willing -- more or less reticently -- to drop their asking prices.
That may be Rashid's lot again in Cardiff, Moeen Ali unequivocally reaffirmed as first-choice, but Bayliss is giving serious consideration to using the pair in tandem - a tactic which previous regimes have approached reticently.
That may be Rashid's lot again in Cardiff, with Moeen Ali unequivocally reaffirmed as first-choice, but he Bayliss is giving serious consideration to using the pair in tandem - a tactic that previous regimes have approached reticently.
Some of the musicians in this discussion may rather reticently identify themselves as jazz musicians but this is qualified by assertions of Greek identity in their performing.
before reticently laying down its arms at the foot of the negotiating
He is relieved to see an instructor at the front of the room and students reticently waiting to be taught at their desks."