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[ret-uh-suh ns] /ˈrɛt ə səns/
the state of being reticent, or reserved, especially with regard to speaking freely; restraint:
His natural reticence seemed to disappear under the influence of alcohol.
Sometimes, reticency.
Related forms
nonreticence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reticence
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In his reticence he had the sense of atoning not only to the apparition but to Miss Hernshaw too.

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
  • In no duty towards others is there more need of reticence and self-restraint.

    The Republic Plato
  • The young man had no conversation, and his reticence was quite embarrassing.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • After all, Audrey had stated her case a little vaguely—there was a reticence as to details.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • Now I understand Mr. Briggs' civility, the tradesmen's reticence.

Word Origin and History for reticence

c.1600, from Middle French réticence (16c.), from Latin reticentia "silence, a keeping silent," from present participle stem of reticere "keep silent," from re- (see re-), + tacere "be silent" (see tacit). "Not in common use until after 1830" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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