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[tas-i-turn] /ˈtæs ɪˌtɜrn/
inclined to silence; reserved in speech; reluctant to join in conversation.
dour, stern, and silent in expression and manner.
Origin of taciturn
1765-75; < Latin taciturnus, quiet, maintaining silence, equivalent to tacit(us) silent (see tacit) + -urnus adj. suffix of time
Related forms
taciturnly, adverb
untaciturn, adjective
untaciturnly, adverb
1. silent, uncommunicative, reticent, quiet. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for taciturn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sometimes Master Tommy is obstinate, as well as taciturn, and his "won't" is as strong as his will.

  • She was as taciturn as ever, speaking scarcely a half-dozen words.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • This was the hope which had produced his taciturn resignation and brought that savage smile on his lips.

  • Janzen, for his part, was as taciturn as his friend Bache was garrulous.

  • Little by little, one word at a time, he gained from the taciturn negro an idea of what had taken place while he slept.

    "Forward, March" Kirk Munroe
British Dictionary definitions for taciturn


habitually silent, reserved, or uncommunicative; not inclined to conversation
Derived Forms
taciturnity, noun
taciturnly, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus silent, from tacēre to be silent
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 taciturn

"habitually silent," 1771, back-formation from taciturnity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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