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reticence

[ret-uh-suh ns]
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noun
  1. 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.
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Sometimes ret·i·cen·cy.
Related formsnon·ret·i·cence, noun

reticent

[ret-uh-suh nt]
adjective
  1. disposed to be silent or not to speak freely; reserved.
  2. reluctant or restrained.
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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 formsret·i·cence, ret·i·cen·cy, nounret·i·cent·ly, adverbnon·ret·i·cent, adjectivenon·ret·i·cent·ly, adverbun·ret·i·cent, adjectiveun·ret·i·cent·ly, adverb
Can be confusedreluctant reticent (see synonym study at reluctant)reticent reluctant

Synonyms

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1. taciturn, quiet, uncommunicative.

Antonyms

1. talkative, voluble.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for reticency

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for reticency

reticent

adjective
  1. not open or communicative; not saying all that one knows; taciturn; reserved
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Derived Formsreticence, nounreticently, 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

Word Origin and History for reticency

reticence

n.

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].

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reticent

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper