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Reluctant vs reticent

Reluctant means disinclined to do something, unwilling to do something, resistant to doing something. Reluctant has a negative connotation, as if the person in question is perhaps stubborn or overscrupulous. Reluctant is an adjective, derived from the Latin word reluctantem, the adverb form is reluctantly.

Reticent means quiet, not liable to communicate thoughts, ideas or feelings readily, reserved. Reticent describes a quiet temperament and does not carry a negative connotation. Reticent is also an adjective that comes from the Latin word reticere, meaning to be silent, the adverb form is reticently. Remember, reluctant describes a person’s attitude in a given situation, reticent describes a person’s general temperament.


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Examples

However, Standard Sport understands Gibbs is reluctant to leave Emirates Stadium unless manager Arsene Wenger insists his long-term prospects are bleak. (The Evening Standard)

The debate ahead of the EU referendum on June 23 has put banks in a delicate position and many are reluctant to state their position for fear of offending customers or being dragged into a political slanging match. (The Financial Times)

British banks remain reluctant to finance trade with Iran, fearing they could still be targeted by existing US sanctions that are impeding Tehran’s re-entry into markets after years of isolation, officials said on Monday. (The Daily Times)

Still, the usually reticent Bulldogs coach did his level best out in front of Wellington’s Intercontinental Hotel to try to boost ticket sales for Saturday’s “home” NRL match against the New Zealand Warriors. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Quite simply, a stronger America hands the Reserve Bank some wriggle room on its own rates conundrum, especially given governor Glenn Stevens is reticent to explicitly talk down the local currency. (The Herald Sun)

One of the great kindnesses of extroverts, whose charisma can be the engine of conversations, is inviting those who may be more reticent into the circle of fun. (The Indiana Gazette)

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