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[ri-luhk-tuh ns] /rɪˈlʌk təns/
unwillingness; disinclination:
reluctance to speak in public.
Electricity. the resistance to magnetic flux offered by a magnetic circuit, determined by the permeability and arrangement of the materials of the circuit.
Also, reluctancy.
Origin of reluctance
1635-45; reluct(ant) + -ance
Related forms
prereluctance, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reluctance
  • Now one can guess at the reasons for the reluctance of academics to think seriously about policing one another.
  • Falling sales are discouraging hiring, which is adding to consumers' reluctance to spend.
  • The guard's reluctance to let the foreigner continue on is understandable.
  • But the question of self-disclosure goes deeper than mere willingness or reluctance.
  • Lawyers' reluctance to turn bill collector is probably matched only by some clients' reluctance to pay up.
  • Several professional and personal factors prompted my reluctance.
  • No one can claim that, and to do so shows disregard for the true spirit of science and reluctance to budge from the status quo.
  • His reluctance to make definitive public statements on the secession crisis was an ongoing theme in his remarks on this journey.
  • The reason for his reluctance is that he knows whatever he says will be molded into a narrative he can't control.
  • There may also be a reluctance to admit that such a gushing provision of liquidity has altered the policy stance.
British Dictionary definitions for reluctance


lack of eagerness or willingness; disinclination
(physics) a measure of the resistance of a closed magnetic circuit to a magnetic flux, equal to the ratio of the magnetomotive force to the magnetic flux
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
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Word Origin and History for reluctance

1640s, "act of struggling against," from obsolete verb reluct "to struggle or rebel against" (1520s), from Latin reluctari "to struggle against, resist, make opposition," from re- "against" (see re-) + luctari "to struggle, wrestle," perhaps shares a common origin with Greek lygos "pliant twig," lygizein "to bend, twist," Old English locc "twist of hair" (see lock (n.2)). Meaning "unwillingness" is first attested 1660s. Related: Reluctancy (1620s.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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