reluctant to do

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Related to reluctant: reluctantly, unreluctant

reluctant to do something

unwilling to do something; not wanting to do something. David was reluctant to admit his mistakes. Although reluctant to appear in court, the witness was ordered to by subpoena.
References in classic literature ?
I have lifted it for a moment, even in this narrative, with a reluctant hand, and dropped it gladly.
A fire had been lately kindled in the damp old-fashioned grate, and it was more disposed to go out than to burn up, and the reluctant smoke which hung in the room seemed colder than the clearer air - like our own marsh mist.
But, moreover, it could not escape even Cedric's reluctant observation, that his project for an absolute union among the Saxons, by the marriage of Rowena and Athelstane, was now completely at an end, by the mutual dissent of both parties concerned.
They have forced themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large, and have at length extorted from those, whose mistaken policy has had the principal share in precipitating the extremity at which we are arrived, a reluctant confession of the reality of those defects in the scheme of our federal government, which have been long pointed out and regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union.
Thursday was to be the wedding day, and on Wednesday Miss Lucas paid her farewell visit; and when she rose to take leave, Elizabeth, ashamed of her mother's ungracious and reluctant good wishes, and sincerely affected herself, accompanied her out of the room.
Grimaud was reluctant to leave the man alone and yet he perceived the necessity of starting at once to bear these tidings to the Comte de la Fere.
The road from the chapel to the shore, just one mile in length, was crowded with women and children; who, on their knees, greeted them as they passed with their tears and their blessings, while the prisoners advanced with slow and reluctant steps, weeping, praying, and singing hymns.
Evidently he was reluctant to take his final cross- bearings of this earth for a Departure on the only voyage to an unknown destination a sailor ever undertakes.
In ten minutes more the dictation was complete, and, having allowed a brief space in which to correct it, I took their books; it was with a reluctant hand Mdlle.
The dogs knew their master’s voice, and after swimming in a circle, as if reluctant to give over the chase, and yet afraid to persevere, they finally obeyed, and returned to the land, where they filled the air with their cries.
But the more Tess thought of the step the more reluctant was she to take it.
He had driven his load half-way to the village when Jotham Powell overtook him, urging the reluctant sorrel toward the Flats.
I felt very reluctant to pack Deane and Adams away in his case next morning, and the case in my portmanteau, where I could not get at it in case my unknown friends took it into their heads to accompany me out of town.
It does not stand to reason that men are reluctant to leave places where the very life is almost badgered out of them by importunate swarms of beggars and peddlers who hang in strings to one's sleeves and coat-tails and shriek and shout in his ears and horrify his vision with the ghastly sores and malformations they exhibit.
Sometimes she and her mother might be seen, with stern eyes and determined mouths, looking over the letters of the reluctant lover.