English edit

Etymology edit

Learned borrowing from Latin reluctāns, present participle of reluctor (to struggle against, oppose, resist), from re- (back) + luctor (to struggle).

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈlʌktənt/
  • (file)

Adjective edit

reluctant (comparative more reluctant, superlative most reluctant)

  1. Not wanting to take some action; unwilling to do something.
    Synonym: disinclined
    She was reluctant to lend him the money
    Surprisingly, our new dog is a reluctant ball-retriever.
    • 2008, Kern Alexander et al., The World Trade Organization and Trade in Services, page 222:
      They are reluctant to the inclusion of a necessity test, especially of a horizontal nature, and emphasize, instead, the importance of procedural disciplines [...].
  2. (archaic) Contrary; defiant; refractory.
    • 1683 September 9, A Sermon of Thanksgiving for the Happy Delivery of Charles the Second [] Preached [] in Thomas-Town in the County of Kilkenny[1], published 1683, page 4:
      Whence we must infer, that the least stir of tumult or rebellion against the Prince is reluctant to all the Ordinances of Heaven, is an abortive product of Hell against the pure dictates of nature []
    • 1782, John Brown, “Address to Students of Divinity”, in A Compendious View of Natural and Revealed Religion, page xiv:
      If pride be allowed to cause you to envy or wound the characters of such as differ from, or outshine you, or to make you reluctant to Christian reproof from your inferiors, how fearful is your guilt and danger!
    • 1819 July 15, [Lord Byron], Don Juan, London: [] Thomas Davison, [], →OCLC, canto II, stanza 108:
      There, breathless, with his digging nails he clung / Fast to the sand, lest the returning wave, / From whose reluctant roar his life he wrung, / Should suck him back to her insatiate grave [...].
    • 1866 February 15, H. Hjaltelin, “On the Treatment of Virulent and Zymotic Diseases”, in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, volume 74, number 3, page 59:
      Many of the inhabitants were reluctant against the measure, and are still so obstinate that they must be compelled to do their duty.
  3. (regular expressions) Tending to match as little text as possible.
    Antonym: greedy

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