[ret-uh-suh ns]


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 ret·i·cen·cy.
Related formsnon·ret·i·cence, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for reticence

shyness, hesitation, restraint, closeness, reserve

Examples from the Web for reticence

Contemporary Examples of reticence

Historical Examples of reticence

  • 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 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