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 reluctantly
  • Increasingly, if reluctantly, there seems to be a growing awareness that nothing in existence stands alone.
  • They are only reluctantly responsive, and you often find yourself repeating an unheeded command.
  • And it's always good to have a cynical cop around, reluctantly helping while being cranky about it.
  • He was trotted out on all the talk shows and asked to express his views in crisp sound bites, which he did somewhat reluctantly.
  • He reluctantly stepped in as president of the fledgling firm because no one else would take on the job.
  • Ike, suspicious of the wily dictator, reluctantly agreed.
  • reluctantly, a crocodile is coaxed into the drained lakebed.
  • But some have arrived, however reluctantly, at a point of acceptance.
  • He enters the crate reluctantly but doesn't whine or bark once in.
  • He describes reluctantly attending a football game with his father.
British Dictionary definitions for reluctantly


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
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Word Origin and History for reluctantly



"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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