Reticence vs Reserve - What's the difference?

reticence | reserve |

Reserve is a synonym of reticence.

Reticence is a synonym of reserve.

As nouns the difference between reticence and reserve

is that reticence is tight-lippedness, discretion, avoidance of saying too much while reserve is the act of reserving, or keeping back; reservation; exception.

As a verb reserve is

to keep back; to retain.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?




  • tight-lippedness, discretion, avoidance of saying too much
  • a silent and reserved nature
  • Quotations

    * 1890 , Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray : *:Basil's absurd fits of jealousy, his wild devotion, his extravagant panegyrics, his curious reticences , — he understood them all now, and he felt sorry. * 1897 , Bram Stoker, Dracula : *: You must not be angry with him, Art, because his very reticence means that all his brains are working for her good.(attention)


    * reserve, secrecy, taciturnity * bashfulness, demureness, diffidence, quietness, reservation, shyness, timidity


    * openness, talkativeness * loquaciousness, ostentation




    (en noun)
  • (label) Restriction.
  • # The act of reserving, or keeping back; reservation; exception.
  • .
  • # Restraint of freedom in words or actions; backwardness; caution in personal behavior.
  • That which is reserved, or kept back, as for future use.
  • # A natural resource known to exist but not currently exploited.
  • #*{{quote-magazine, date=2014-04-25, author= Martin Lukacs
  • , volume=190, issue=20, page=13, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Canada becoming launch-pad of a global tar sands and oil shale frenzy , passage=If Alberta’s reserves are a carbon bomb, this global expansion of tar sands and oil shale exploitation amounts to an escalating emissions arms race, the unlocking of a subterranean cache of weapons of mass ecological destruction.}}
  • # A tract of land reserved, or set apart, for a particular purpose; as, the Connecticut Reserve in Ohio, originally set apart for the school fund of Connecticut; the Clergy Reserves in Canada, for the support of the clergy.
  • # (label) A tract of land set apart for the use of an Aboriginal group; Indian reserve (compare US (reservation).)
  • # (label) A body of troops kept in the rear of an army drawn up for battle, reserved to support the other lines as occasion may require; a force or body of troops kept for an exigency.
  • # (label) Funds kept on hand to meet planned or unplanned financial requirements.
  • # Wine held back and aged before being sold.
  • (label) Something initially kept back for later use in a recreation.
  • # (label) A member of a team who does not participate from the start of the game, but can be used to replace tired or injured team-mates.
  • # (label) A group or pile of cards dealt out at the beginning of a patience or solitaire game to be used during play.
  • Synonyms

    * reservation, res * (restraint of freedom in words or actions) self-restraint, reticence, taciturnity * substitute * (tract of land for Aboriginal peoples) rez

    Derived terms

    * Federal Reserve * Federal Reserve System * nature reserve * reserve bank * reserve price * wildlife reserve


  • To keep back; to retain.
  • We reserve the right to make modifications.
  • To keep in store for future or special use.
  • This cake is reserved for the guests!
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • Reserve your kind looks and language for private hours.
  • To book in advance; to make a reservation.
  • I reserved a table for us at the best restaurant in town.
  • (obsolete) To make an exception of; to except.
  • Anagrams

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