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[ret-uh-suh ns] /ˈrɛt ə səns/
the state of being reticent, or reserved, especially with regard to speaking freely; restraint:
His natural reticence seemed to disappear under the influence of alcohol.
Sometimes, reticency.
Related forms
nonreticence, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for reticence
  • All my instincts run toward reticence, to protecting my family from invasions of our private space.
  • Their reticence could reflect fears of copycat crimes, or simply the old habit of burying news during big events.
  • Both parties are deservedly upbraided for their reticence on exactly how to cut the fiscal deficit.
  • The reticence partly reflects fears about consumer unease and unwelcome attention from regulators.
  • But that does not explain their in-flight reticence.
  • At this point, environmentalists shift to arguing that the economist's reticence plays an outright pernicious role.
  • But he understands the reticence others may have in contemplating a return.
  • Given his family's general reticence, he had much to tell.
  • Most of it is hidden, withheld by custom, reticence and the cultural habits of gender pride.
  • But reticence by some big media companies is making room for independent programmers to explore all sorts of niches.
Word Origin and History for reticence

c.1600, from Middle French réticence (16c.), from Latin reticentia "silence, a keeping silent," from present participle stem of reticere "keep silent," from re- (see re-), + tacere "be silent" (see tacit). "Not in common use until after 1830" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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