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Reticent Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

Reticent Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

If you are a keen listener or reader, it is impossible to go more than a day or a couple of days without encountering a new word. Like many English words, “reticent” is not quite common. This article aims to educate you on the reticent definition, meaning, and usage.

Reticent means “to be reserved or unwilling to speak, slow to begin or proceed with a course of action due to doubts.” It describes reluctance to share one’s thoughts, feelings, and personal affairs. Refer to this word in a sentence describing someone or something reserved in expression, presentation, or appearance. 

Reticent is one of those words that seems complicated and complex when you first encounter it. However, its meaning is not as complicated as you may assume. We will break down everything you should know about this word in this post. Read on to learn the meanings, spelling, pronunciation, and application of “reticent” in different contexts. 

reticent guy in black

What Is The Definition Of Reticent?

Reticent is defined as “tending not to speak frequently either by habit or inclination.” The word can refer to a person that does not easily open up about their personal affairs, observations, feelings, or thoughts. 

Here are some examples in sentences:

  • The company has always been reticent about its internet operations; everybody now seems concerned. 
  • I have resigned myself to the fact that my husband is a reticent person. 
  • Sharon is reticent about becoming involved with the soccer mums. 

The word can also describe someone restrained in style or appearance or slow to start or continue something because of uncertainty or concern. You must have come across such a person.

In a sentence;

  • For many years now, Nancy has been reticent about joining the college.
  • Biden’s behavior shows that she’s generally a reticent person.

What Is The Meaning Of Reticent?

The word reticent refers to a reserved person that is not quick to speak, share thoughts, opinions, or personal information. It also means being slow or reluctant to do something or continue with a plan because of doubt. 

Here are some examples in sentences;

  • My son is one of the most reticent people I know; I can barely get him to open up. 
  • As a doctor, dealing with a reticent patient is one of the hardest things. 
  • Starting a project with a reticent person was one of my greatest mistakes

What Are The Synonyms And Antonyms For Reticent?

Reticent is among the most straightforward words. It does not have too many different meanings. The word maintains the same meaning regardless of the subject and where it is applied. Therefore, once you have understood the meaning explained above, you are good to go. 

Synonyms are words that can be used in the place of another word as they share a similar meaning. Learning a word’s synonyms will help you avoid repeating yourself when communicating.

Below are some synonyms of reticent.

  • Unforthcoming
  • Timid
  • Constrained
  • Secretive
  • Unspeaking
  • Abashed
  • Unforthcoming
  • Reserved
  • Mum
  • Restrained
  • Uptight
  • Self-conscious
  • Demure
  • Silent
  • Coy
  • Tight-lipped
  • Quiet
  • Hesitant
  • Clammed up
  • Modest

Antonyms are words with opposite meanings. When learning about a new word, you would also benefit from knowing its antonyms. This will introduce you to new words and expand your vocabulary. 

Here are some antonyms of reticent.

  • Conversational
  • Fearless
  • Sure
  • Civil
  • Effusive
  • Communicative
  • Open
  • Unreserved
  • Sanguine
  • Self-assured
  • Candid
  • Forthcoming
  • Communicable
  • Conversable
  • Unrestrained
  • Doubtless
  • Talkative
  • Unconstrained

Words Rhyming With Reticent

Rhyming words have the same sound. However, they do not have the same meaning and cannot be used alternatively. If you are a creative or an artist, you may also benefit from learning words that rhyme with reticent. You can use the rhyming words for poetry writing, composing song lyrics, and rap verses. 

Here are some rhyming words for reticent.

  • Dehiscent
  • Malicent
  • Melisent
  • Resident
  • President
  • Existent
  • Renitent
  • Impenitent
  • Intelligent

Note that there are two types of rhyming words. The first type is pure rhyming words. These words sound EXACTLY the same that you may confuse their spellings.

The second type is the last syllable rhyming words. These are words with the same last syllable. Therefore, only the ends of the words rhyme. There are no pure rhymes for the word reticent. However, there are numerous last-syllable rhymes. 

How To Use Reticent In A Sentence

You can easily use the word reticent in a sentence as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun. As an adverb, use the word as reticent; as an adverb, the word becomes reticently. The noun form of the word is reticence or reticency. 

The word can be used in many situations. For instance, use the word “reticent” as a descriptor of a person whose nature is uncommunicative, quiet, or reserved. That shows you can use the word in a sentence with a negative connotation.

Before using any word in a sentence, it would be wise to understand its meaning and variations. This way, you can use it correctly in different contexts. Experts recommend not using a word repeatedly in a sentence. Therefore, if you must use it twice or more times, replace it with a synonym.

reserved suspicious looking women

Reticent vs. Reluctant

The most confusing word with “reticent” is “reluctant.” These two words have very similar meanings, but you don’t have to use them interchangeably. Reticent means being reserved and not speaking freely, while reluctant means being unwilling to do something. In both words, there is an aspect of opposition.

10 Examples Of Reticent In A Sentence

Now that you have all the basics of the word reticent at your fingertips, you can begin using it in sentences. Here are ten excellent examples to start with.

  1. Do not worry about the reticent members; they rarely participate.
  2. He was initially reticent because he was unsure about their motives. 
  3. Whenever I ask my husband about his work, he becomes reticent.
  4. The teacher tried to force the reticent child to answer questions in class but failed terribly. 
  5. The company’s managerial team seems reticent to do away with the excess workforce.
  6. Christian educators have become more reticent in their teachings because of the current political environment. 
  7. The leading companies in the food industry are very reticent about their practices and ingredients due to competition.
  8. Whatever the reticent man said was true but not the full story; there is more to it. 
  9. Interactive learning is an excellent teaching technique educators can use to entice even reticent children. 
  10. Persistence is not the best way to win over reticent individuals; it only causes them to clam up. 

How Do You Spell Reticent?

The correct spelling for this word is “R.E.T.I.C.E.N.T”

This is a relatively easy word to spell. However, people make a common mistake when spelling this word by using the letter “s” instead of “c.” This is because the “c” in the word is pronounced like an “s.” Any mistake in the spelling will change the meaning of the word. 

When learning a new word, make sure to also practice its spelling. This way, you can confidently use the word when writing. The only time the spelling of a word changes is when it is translated to another language. 

How Do You Pronounce “Reticent”?

The word is pronounced as “reh-tuh-snt.

One of the best things about this word is that it is pronounced the same in all English variations. Learn how to pronounce this word by listening to the audio across the internet so no one can make fun of you when you use it in a conversation. 

How Many Syllables Are In Reticent?

The word reticent has three syllables.

The syllables are; ret – i – cent. The stressed syllable is -ret. 

History & Etymology Of Reticent

The word comes from the 16th-century French “reticence.” It has roots in the Latin “reticentia” and “reticens.”

The Latin words” reticentia” or “reticens” refer to silence. The words come from the present participle of “reticere,” meaning to keep silent. Additionally, the word stems from the prefix “re” and the root “tacere,” which means being silent. 

In the sense of “uncommunicative,” reticent first appeared in English in the early 19th-century. About half a century later, the word took an additional meaning of “reluctance,” which is now well-established. Currently, the word describes someone slow or unwilling to do anything, like speak, complete a project, or participate in an undertaking. 

Keep reading: Destiny Definition – Meaning and Usage In A Sentence

When Was Reticent First Used?

The word’s first use dates back to 1600.

However, it changed to an everyday word in 1830. Note that reticent use in the English language started in the early 19th century. That tells you it is a relatively new word compared to most English words. The most interesting thing is that this word has retained its meaning throughout its existence and in different parts of the word. 


The word “reticent” has quite a simple meaning. It describes a reserved person who is slow to speak or share opinions, thoughts, or feelings. It can also refer to someone who is constantly doubtful; hence does not make decisions or stick to plans easily. Now that you know everything there is to know about “reticent definition and meaning,” you can try using this word in a sentence today!

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