from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Habitually untalkative. synonym: laconic.
  • adjective Characterized by reserve or a lack of expression.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Silent; temperamentally untalkative; disinclined to speak.

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

  • adjective habitually reserved and uncommunicative


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

[French taciturne, from Old French, from Latin taciturnus, from tacitus, silent; see tacit.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French taciturne or Latin taciturnus, from tacitus ("secret, tacit").


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

    December 10, 2006

  • habitually silent; not inclined to talk

    March 23, 2007

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

    August 30, 2007

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

    August 30, 2007

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

    August 30, 2007

  • 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

  • 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

  • "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