from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Habitually untalkative. See Synonyms at silent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Silent; temperamentally untalkative; disinclined to speak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Habitually silent; not given to converse; not apt to talk or speak.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Silent or reserved in speech; saying little; not inclined to speak or converse.
  • Synonyms Mute, Dumb (see silent), reserved, uncommunicative, reticent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. habitually reserved and uncommunicative


French taciturne, from Old French, from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus, silent; see tacit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French taciturne or Latin taciturnus, from tacitus ("secret, tacit"). (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "We go out in stormy weather
    We rarely practice discern
    We make love to some with sin
    We seek out the taciturn"

    -Spoon, "That's the Way We Get By"

    April 29, 2009

  • Elizabeth Bennet: "No... No, I prefer to be unsociable and taciturn... Makes it all so much more enjoyable, don't you think?"

    August 5, 2008

  • John, I actually learned the word from watching Angel. Who says TV isn't educational? :)

    The word itself comes from latin..."Tacite" if I am remembering correctly. It means "silent" in that form. (Just so ya know.)

    February 20, 2008

  • I always thought both words have a negative and positive connotation, depending on how you use them. :-)

    August 30, 2007

  • Really? I always thought taciturn was a noble trait and reticent was refusing to reveal import information.

    August 30, 2007

  • Like reticent, but in a bad way. :-P

    August 30, 2007

  • habitually silent; not inclined to talk

    March 23, 2007

  • "Buffy, I too know the love of a taciturn man" - Willow Rosenberg, BTVS, "Enemies"

    December 10, 2006