reluctantly

Reluctantly means "with hesitation, doubt or dread." You might reluctantly walk into the dentist's office for your appointment, knowing that you will soon feel the pain of a root canal. Ouch!

The adverb reluctantly comes from the root word reluctant, meaning "unwilling, disinclined." When you do something reluctantly, you don't really want to do it. For example, if you answer a question reluctantly, you will first stall or try to change the subject. If your friend reluctantly agreed to help you move to your new house, you know she felt obligated to say "yes." Better buy her dinner, at the very least.

Definitions of reluctantly
  1. adverb
    with reluctance
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week