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taciturn

[tas-i-turn]
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adjective
  1. inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation.
  2. dour, stern, and silent in expression and manner.
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Origin of taciturn

1765–75; < Latin taciturnus, quiet, maintaining silence, equivalent to tacit(us) silent (see tacit) + -urnus adj. suffix of time
Related formstac·i·turn·ly, adverbun·tac·i·turn, adjectiveun·tac·i·turn·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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

Related Words

reticentaloofdourlaconicantisocialclosecoldcurtdistantdumbmummutequietreservedsententioussilentsparingspeechlesstight-lippedwithdrawn

Examples from the Web for taciturn

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She was as taciturn as ever, speaking scarcely a half-dozen words.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • But you know what Mr Merdle is; you know how taciturn and reserved he is.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Janzen, for his part, was as taciturn as his friend Bache was garrulous.

  • I know just what sort of a person he is—sombre and taciturn.

  • Meg, white-faced and taciturn, went back to Wren's End on Tuesday night.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker


British Dictionary definitions for taciturn

taciturn

adjective
  1. habitually silent, reserved, or uncommunicative; not inclined to conversation
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Derived Formstaciturnity, nountaciturnly, adverb

Word Origin

C18: from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus silent, from 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 taciturn

adj.

"habitually silent," 1771, back-formation from taciturnity.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper