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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For reticence is just on the boundary of deception, and it needs but a very little step to take one over the border.

  • But the tutor's reticence and the younger man's respect prevented it.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • There was her reticence as to the ownership of the car and the way in which she had tried to prevent a meeting.

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
  • That reticence upon the vital point was characteristically English.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • She asked herself why she was afraid of him, and the answer she seemed to get was that his reticence frightened her.

    December Love Robert Hichens
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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