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[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 unreluctant
Historical Examples
  • A man sprang after her and caught her, unreluctant, in his arms.

    Marjorie Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He unveils the mysteries of iniquity with a fearless and by no means an unreluctant hand.

  • Some go down to it unreluctant, and meet it, like the river, not without nobility.

    Letters from America Rupert Brooke
  • Emily, on her part, was disposed to yield an unreluctant obedience, and therefore it was not difficult to restrain her.

    Caleb Williams William Godwin
  • Bunce knew the people well, and exhibited his most unreluctant manner.

    Guy Rivers: A Tale of Georgia William Gilmore Simms
  • As he spoke he placed some money in her unreluctant hand, and returned on his way home.

British Dictionary definitions for unreluctant


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 unreluctant



"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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