Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “reticent”

reticent

adjective     /ˈret.ɪ.sənt/ US  /ˈret̬.ə-/ formal
unwilling to speak about your thoughts or feelings: He is very reticent about his past. Most of the students were reticent about answering questions.Not saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasiveShy and modestAnxious and worried reticence     /-səns/ noun [U] His reticence about his past made them very suspicious.Not saying muchBlunt and direct in speech and behaviourNot being friendlyDigressing and being indirect or evasiveShy and modestAnxious and worried reticently     /-li/ adverb
(Definition of reticent adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of reticent

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Shy and modest, but you might be interested in these topics from the Fear and danger topic area:

Definitions of “reticent” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

workmanship

the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More