Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

reluctant - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective     reluctant pronunciation in American English
  1. not willing to do something
    reluctant to do something:

    She was reluctant to leave.

    1. a.
      used for describing a feeling that you have but you wish you did not have

      She felt a reluctant admiration for her opponent.

    2. b.
      used for describing someone who is doing something but does not really want to

      a reluctant convert/witness/guest

derived words


     reluctance pronunciation in American English
noun [uncountable]

Julia’s reluctance to join the party was a mystery.

quiz invitation

Open Dictionary

patio diplomacy

high-level diplomats meeting and dining in an informal environment e.g. a party or club

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play