If anyone has ever told you to do something you didn’t want to do, you’ve felt a disinclination, a doubt about participating. Having a disinclination means you’re just not into it, so you hesitate.

In Herman Melville’s short novel “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” when anyone asks Bartleby for a favor, he always replies, “I would prefer not to.” That’s an example of a disinclination — the feeling that there are other things you’d rather be doing. If someone tells you to eat a lightbulb, you might feel a disinclination to do that, and for good reason. The Latin roots of the word roughly translate to “unable to bend,” which describes your unwilling disinclination quite well.

Definitions of disinclination
  1. noun
    a certain degree of unwillingness
    synonyms: hesitancy, hesitation, indisposition, reluctance
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    sloth, slothfulness
    a disinclination to work or exert yourself
    type of:
    involuntariness, unwillingness
    the trait of being unwilling
  2. noun
    that toward which you are inclined to feel dislike
    “his disinclination for modesty is well known”
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    that toward which you are inclined to feel a liking
    type of:
    a feeling of aversion or antipathy
Word Family
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