[ ret-uh-suhnt ]
/ ˈrɛt ə sənt /


disposed to be silent or not to speak freely; reserved.
reluctant or restrained.

Nearby words

  1. retia,
  2. retial,
  3. retiarius,
  4. retiary,
  5. reticence,
  6. reticently,
  7. reticle,
  8. reticul-,
  9. reticular,
  10. reticular activating system

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

Examples from the Web for reticent

British Dictionary definitions for reticent


/ (ˈrɛtɪsənt) /


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

Word Origin for reticent

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 reticent



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper