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unwilling, not wanting to do something


reluctant = zurückhaltend, zögernd, wiederwillig --- GOOGLE INDEX reluctant: approximately 58,000,000 Google hits



Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble are encouraging RELUCTANT German lawmakers to approve an extension of Greece's bailout despite Schaeuble's avowed doubts about the credibility of Athens' latest reform plans.

(Reuters news service)

There is no such thing as a RELUCTANT star.

(pop star George Michael)

Did you


- not willing to do something and therefore slow to do it

(Cambridge Dictionary)

Reluctant and the noun reluctance are from the Latin reluctantem (nominative reluctans), present participle of reluctari, which is also the source of the Spanish reluchante and Italian riluttante.

As the Oxford Dictionary says, if you are reluctant you hesitate before doing something because you do not want to do it or because you are not sure that it is the right thing to do. For example, in literature there is a figure referred to as the "reluctant hero."

This is typically an ordinary person who is forced into extraordinary circumstances that demand a heroic act or a person with great abilities who nonetheless has little desire to use them.

George Washington, America's first president, is a good example. He was elected despite his reluctance, which stemmed in part from the fact that he knew he would be thrown into the middle of a fierce debate about how to shape the new government. Like many reluctant heroes, he became one even though he did not want to be one.


cautious, circumspect, disinclined, hesitant, loath, queasy, shy, uncertain, uneager, unwilling, wary

SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation

"I'm one of those people who are reluctant to invest in high-risk stocks."

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