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From reluct +‎ -ance.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈlʌktəns/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: re‧luc‧tance



reluctance (countable and uncountable, plural reluctances)

  1. Unwillingness to do something.
    Our new dog shows reluctance to go on walks, preferring to be indoors.
  2. Hesitancy in taking some action.
  3. (archaic) Defiance, disobedience.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IX”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 1041–6:
      No more be mention’d then of violence / Against our selves, and wilful barrenness, / That cuts us off fom hope, and favours onely / Rancor and pride, impatience and despite, / Reluctance against God and his just yoke / Laid on our Necks.
  4. (physics) That property of a magnetic circuit analogous to resistance in an electric circuit.
    • 1903, The Electrical World and Engineer, volume 42, page 369:
      That is to say, the total number of ampere-hours, including the drop of gilbertage, due to magnetic flux traversing the reluctance of the circuit, must be equal to zero.

Derived terms



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