[ ri-luhk-tuhnt ]
/ rɪˈlʌk tənt /


unwilling; disinclined: a reluctant candidate.
struggling in opposition.

Origin of reluctant

1655–65; < Latin reluctant- (stem of reluctāns), present participle of reluctārī. See reluct, -ant

SYNONYMS FOR reluctant

1 Reluctant, loath, averse describe disinclination toward something. Reluctant implies some sort of mental struggle, as between disinclination and sense of duty: reluctant to expel students. Loath describes extreme disinclination: loath to part from a friend. Averse, used with to and a noun or a gerund, describes a long-held dislike or unwillingness, though not a particularly strong feeling: averse to an idea; averse to getting up early.

Related forms

Can be confused

reluctant reticent (see synonym study at the current entry)reticent reluctant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reluctant

British Dictionary definitions for reluctant


/ (rɪˈlʌktənt) /


not eager; unwilling; disinclined
archaic offering resistance or opposition

Derived Forms

reluctantly, adverb

Word Origin for reluctant

C17: from Latin reluctārī to resist; see reluct
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