9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ri-luhk-tuh nt] /rɪˈlʌk tənt/
unwilling; disinclined:
a reluctant candidate.
struggling in opposition.
Origin of reluctant
1655-65; < Latin reluctant- (stem of reluctāns), present participle of reluctārī. See reluct, -ant
Related forms
reluctantly, adverb
half-reluctant, adjective
half-reluctantly, adverb
unreluctant, adjective
unreluctantly, adverb
Can be confused
reluctant, reticent (see synonym study at the current entry)
reticent, reluctant.
1. Reluctant, loath, averse describe disinclination toward something. Reluctant implies some sort of mental struggle, as between disinclination and sense of duty: reluctant to expel students. Loath describes extreme disinclination: loath to part from a friend. Averse, used with to and a noun or a gerund, describes a long-held dislike or unwillingness, though not a particularly strong feeling: averse to an idea; averse to getting up early.
1. willing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reluctant
  • Farmers may be reluctant to cut their sales, and consumers may be unwilling to pay higher milk prices.
  • Patient is reluctant or unwilling to provide reference information and usually has no regular doctor or health insurance.
  • Any reluctant reader can be turned on with science books.
  • Even a century after the trial, the town was reluctant to speak of it.
  • Poppy cultivation is a tradition in certain families, and a source of income tribesmen are reluctant to give up.
  • Slung on his back facing the sun was the solar panel for charging the satellite phone-a reluctant concession to our times.
  • Also, they are inordinately shy and reluctant to respond.
  • TN was reluctant, but they finally persuaded him to try.
  • Modern physics dismisses this metaphysics, although philosophers seem reluctant to follow.
  • People are reluctant to take wind energy seriously in terms of its potential for large-scale use and implementation.
British Dictionary definitions for reluctant


not eager; unwilling; disinclined
(archaic) offering resistance or opposition
Derived Forms
reluctantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin reluctārī to resist; see reluct
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 reluctant

"unwilling," 1660s, from Latin reluctantem (nominative reluctans), present participle of reluctari (see reluctance). Related: Reluctantly. Cf. Spanish reluchante, Italian riluttante.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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