Retention vs Reticence - What's the difference?

retention | reticence |

As nouns the difference between retention and reticence

is that retention is retention while reticence is reticence.



(en noun)
  • The act of retaining or something retained
  • * 1599 , , II. iv. 95:
  • No woman's heart / So big, to hold so much; they lack retention .
  • The act or power of remembering things
  • A memory; what is retained in the mind
  • (medicine) The involuntary withholding of urine and faeces
  • (obsolete) That which contains something, as a tablet; a means of preserving impressions.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • (obsolete) The act of withholding; restraint; reserve.
  • * 1599 , , V. i. 79:
  • His life I gave him, and did thereto add / My love without retention or restraint,
  • (obsolete) A place of custody or confinement.
  • (legal) The right to withhold a debt, or of retaining property until a debt due to the person claiming the right is duly paid; a lien.
  • (Erskine)






  • 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