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90s Slang You Should Know


[ret-uh-suh nt] /ˈrɛt ə sənt/
disposed to be silent or not to speak freely; reserved.
reluctant or restrained.
Origin of reticent
1825-35; < Latin reticent- (stem of reticēns), present participle of reticēre to be silent, equivalent to re- re- + -tic-, combining form of tacēre to be silent (cf. tacit) + -ent- -ent
Related forms
reticence, reticency, noun
reticently, adverb
nonreticent, adjective
nonreticently, adverb
unreticent, adjective
unreticently, adverb
Can be confused
reluctant, reticent (see synonym study at reluctant)
reticent, reluctant.
1. taciturn, quiet, uncommunicative.
1. talkative, voluble. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reticent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a matter upon which he was reticent, and with persons of his kind a direct question is never very discreet.

    The Moon and Sixpence W. Somerset Maugham
  • Mr. Fluxion "made no sign," and the acting officers were as reticent as ever.

    Down the Rhine Oliver Optic
  • If a man proposes in such a place to be isolated and reticent and alone, they will begin to guess about him: Who is he?

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • I asked, changing the topic in acknowledgment of his right to be reticent.

  • His face was homely but pleasant, and had a certain dignity; his manner retiring but not reticent.

British Dictionary definitions for reticent


not open or communicative; not saying all that one knows; taciturn; reserved
Derived Forms
reticence, noun
reticently, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from Latin reticēre to keep silent, from re- + tacēre to be silent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reticent

1834, from Latin reticentem (nominative reticens), present participle of reticere "be silent" (see reticence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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