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Reluctant Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Reluctant Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Have you ever done something with a feeling that you haven't been fully included towards its actualization as a close member, especially at home or place of work? You always feel unwilling and hesitant about doing that particular task. Let us help you understand the "reluctant definition and meaning" to know whether you've been using the word correctly.

The adjective "reluctant" means "either feeling or showing unwillingness or hesitation." The word also means doing something without enthusiasm. Use the word in sentences to describe someone who unwillingly assumed a specific role or did something they never wanted for the sake of doing so.

There is resistance or unwillingness whenever you use the word "reluctant." So this is a word attached with a negative connotation. There is no positive angle in the term unless you use it to talk about someone who is not being reluctant. In this article, we will reveal everything you need to know about the word reluctant.

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What Is the Definition of Reluctant?

"Reluctant" simple definition is "not being eager." When you are not longing to do something because of your reasons, use this word to describe someone who is not interested in doing some tasks. 

However, to better understand the word, it is vital to note that "reluctant" does not mean not wanting to do something. If you don't want to do something, you'll avoid and not participate in its implementation. But when you are reluctant, you can still take part in doing a particular task, though in an unwilling manner. That's the difference between being reluctant and not wanting.

Reluctant describes a situation that does not permit you to do something wholeheartedly or that you do not find the task interesting. At the same time, note that many people have done things though they were "reluctant" for some reason. Note that just because someone is "reluctant" does not mean they will not do the given task.

Example sentences:

  • The villagers were stubborn and reluctant to show us the right direction to the mountains.
  • When we saw the twins fighting, we were reluctant to get involved, but we had no choice when one of them started to bleed.
  • She was reluctant about having a big wedding party, but the groom eventually convinced her.

What Is the Meaning of Reluctant?

"Reluctant" also means struggling in opposition. Use the word to describe opposing resistance or opposing. In most cases, the word shows the unwillingness to do something since it does not align with your beliefs or mood.

If someone struggles against something or has an opposite mind about a certain idea, they are "reluctant." There might be no viable reasons why they are reluctant other than their gut feeling. As a result, they feel they do not want to take the required action.

Example sentences:

  • He was reluctant as he did not want to travel to Europe.
  • Grace was going through many personal issues, and she was reluctant to tell people about it, even the church members.
  • The couple had a reluctant farewell at the airport. 

What Is the Difference Between Reluctant and Reticent?

A word that most people confuse with "reluctant" is "reticent." However, these words have different meanings where the word reluctant means resisting and unwilling. It has a strong negative connotation. Reticent means unwilling to communicate, but by comparison, it has less of a negative feeling.

Synonyms and Antonyms of the Word Reluctant

Almost all the words you will encounter have alternative words that you can use to replace them. However, these words might not have the exact meaning as the original word; these are the synonyms. 

You also need to know words with opposite meanings, popularly referred to as antonyms, to perfect your grammar more. Note that there are also rhyming words that confuse most people who end up using the wrong word. It helps to know some of these words to avoid confusion as you write your texts. Let's learn more below.


  • Unwilling
  • Discouraged
  • Hesitating
  • Chary of
  • Afraid to
  • Against
  • Dubious
  • Cautious
  • Doubtful
  • Unsure


  • Willing
  • Free
  • Open
  • Obliging
  • Wistful
  • Willful
  • Eager
  • Happy
  • Voluntary
  • Agreeable 

Words That Rhyme With Reluctant

  • Redundant
  • Consistent
  • Consonant
  • Agreement
  • Ancient
  • Incident
  • Instrument
  • Militant
  • Resonant
  • Agreement

How to Use Reluctant in a Sentence

Use "reluctant" in your sentences when talking about the unwillingness to do something due to distaste or irresolution. Note that the word also means the lack of desire to do something because it is not your taste or you disapprove of it. In addition, keep in mind that it is a negative word.

In most contexts, the word most applies as a noun and adverb. Make sure you know how to best use this word in either form. That makes it easier to accommodate the word where you feel like it cannot fit. Let's learn more about this below.

Adverb For Reluctant

Reluctantly: In a hesitant manner. Here are some example sentences:

  • The vice-president spoke reluctantly about the matter since it involved the president.
  • Simon reluctantly agreed to attend the party because he does not like socializing.
  • The tour guide reluctantly allowed the tourist to swim since this was not part of the tour.

Noun For Reluctant

Reluctance: Hesitant in taking some action. Here are some example sentences:

  • With a lot of reluctance, I picked up the phone to call my father-in-law.
  • The reluctance of the news anchor to make a speech shocked everyone since most people assumed that he was outspoken.
  • There might have been some reluctance in the past about punishing an inmate for wrongdoing, but the new warden has assured us that he will not tolerate any indiscipline actions.

10 Examples of Reluctant in a Sentence

Learn more about the word "reluctant" by reading different sentences with the word. Sentences help you better understand how to use a word in different settings. So, if you are struggling to create sentences with the word "reluctant," here are some sentence ideas to help you out.

  1. The judge seemed reluctant to speak out about the final verdict.
  2. There was a better way to handle the situation, but since most people ignore Brian, he did not want to bring it up at the meeting.
  3. Diana had no choice but to make a reluctant decision so that everyone in the class could move on.
  4. The police present were reluctant to interfere since it was a family dispute.
  5. I have received your request, but I am reluctant to move your quarry in that direction and risk all your savings in one investment.
  6. Victoria knew that she loved Alex, but she was still reluctant to marry him because of his anger issues.
  7. Why are the doctors reluctant to treat the patient rushed in just now?
  8. Though he knew that he was the sole heir to the land and money his parents had left, he was reluctant to receive it.
  9. Reliable dog breeders are usually reluctant to sell puppies without background checks on the person buying them.
  10. Thomas was reluctant to leave the company to start his new business, but eventually, he managed to do it.

How Do You Spell Reluctant?

The proper way to spell the word "reluctant" is "/rɪˈlʌkt(ə)nt/" or "R.EL.U.C.T.A.N.T."

Note that this is an era where people care about what others say and how they say it. They will not take spelling errors lightly. It is vital to learn the correct spelling of a word before using it. Misspelling might make you seem not serious about your message. So, take time to learn the correct spellings.

How Do You Pronounce Reluctant?

The proper pronunciation of the word "reluctant" is "ri-luhk-tent."

When pronouncing the word, note that the middle syllable, which is "luc" is pronounced as "lukh," so pull in more air so that you can produce the correct sound. Note that poor pronunciation increases the chances of miscommunication.

How Many Syllables Are In Reluctant?

The word "reluctant" has three syllables"re.luc.tant." The stressed syllable of the word is "luc." 

When you learn a new word, it helps to know how to decode the word faster so that it can help you chunk sounds rather than you having to sound single letters. In addition, when you learn the syllables, it will help you to read fluently and accurately.

History & Etymology of Reluctant 

The word "reluctant" originates from the Latin "re" and "luctari." Later, these two Latin words were combined with being "reluctor," which means "I resist or struggle against." From this, the word transitioned to English as "reluctant" but retained the original Latin meaning "to resist or struggle against."

asian woman bookWhen Was Reluctant First Used?

The first recorded use of the word "reluctant" was in 1638.


Not having the will to do something is known as "reluctant. Now that you have understood the meaning and the definition of this word, you can practice its usage with your family, friends, or peers. There is no shortcut to it; the only way to learn the proper spelling and usage of a word is by practicing it. Take time to construct and share sentences with the word "reluctant."

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