inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation.
dour, stern, and silent in expression and manner.

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 for taciturn

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for taciturn

Contemporary Examples of taciturn

Historical Examples of taciturn

  • 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



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

Word Origin for taciturn

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

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper