• synonyms


[ri-luhk-tuh ns]
See more synonyms for reluctance on Thesaurus.com
  1. unwillingness; disinclination: reluctance to speak in public.
  2. Electricity. the resistance to magnetic flux offered by a magnetic circuit, determined by the permeability and arrangement of the materials of the circuit.
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Sometimes re·luc·tan·cy.

Origin of reluctance

First recorded in 1635–45; reluct(ant) + -ance
Related formspre·re·luc·tance, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for reluctancy

conscience, compunction, anxiety, hesitation, reluctance, censor, twinge, difficulty, demur, pause, uneasiness, qualm, perplexity, caution, hesitancy, superego, reconsideration, faltering, reluctancy

Examples from the Web for reluctancy

Historical Examples of reluctancy

  • The two men bowed, Richard with reluctancy, the Captain with easy bonhomie.

    The Black Moth

    Georgette Heyer

  • But oh, with what reluctancy did I feel myself obliged to consume time in sleep!

  • Or he may deprive himself of some lesser advantages in life by his reluctancy in putting himself forward.

  • Hiding his reluctancy, Cooper left his seat and advanced toward the doorway.

British Dictionary definitions for reluctancy


less commonly reluctancy

  1. lack of eagerness or willingness; disinclination
  2. physics a measure of the resistance of a closed magnetic circuit to a magnetic flux, equal to the ratio of the magnetomotive force to the magnetic flux
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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

Word Origin and History for reluctancy



1640s, "act of struggling against," from obsolete verb reluct "to struggle or rebel against" (1520s), from Latin reluctari "to struggle against, resist, make opposition," from re- "against" (see re-) + luctari "to struggle, wrestle," perhaps shares a common origin with Greek lygos "pliant twig," lygizein "to bend, twist," Old English locc "twist of hair" (see lock (n.2)). Meaning "unwillingness" is first attested 1660s. Related: Reluctancy (1620s.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper