What's it called when you unenthusiastically do something that you have reservations about. You might consciously resist participating in something because you're ethically opposed to it or because it conflicts with your personal ideals. But in the end you submit either because you're compelled by duty or obligation, you realize your ideals aren't pragmatic, or your method keeps failing, or you realize you were wrong. Whatever the reason, you might not be happy about it and you might not want to admit it, or maybe you're simply being forced. But in the end you relinquish control or subdue your inclination to resist, and you cooperate or comply.

An example is, you might be a passionate, publicly outspoken opponent of euthanasia for many years; adamant that your way is the best and only way until a day comes that you have to watch as someone dear to you suffers.

Another example is, you might be in the military, and your commanding officer gives you an order to do something that you disagree with but you decide to just grit your teeth and do as you're told.

It's a word that I learned only recently, and I have used it in context before, but have forgotten. I believe it's a verb. Actually, I recall there being two similar, but distinctly etymologically separate words that both can be used to basically mean the same thing.

  • Why do you think there is one word for this?
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 20:00
  • FYI: There is a question with a similar title here: english.stackexchange.com/q/334958. It's possibly related but not really the same.
    – voices
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Lambie That's kind of a loaded question. I mean.. a) I don't just think it, I know it. It's a matter of fact. b) Why? Because, well, I've seen it. I've heard it. I've used it. I've written it down and forgotten it. c) There's not just one; there's could be a dozen others that fit the bill. But the one I have in mind, I liked it a lot. Sometimes ther right word can really just prefectly articulate exactly what you're trying to say, you know?
    – voices
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 20:28

4 Answers 4


I am not sure all your examples describe the same thing. In any case:

Accept something reluctantly but without protest.

might fit your description.

You may also consider:

2 (resign oneself to) Accept that something undesirable cannot be avoided.
'she resigned herself to a lengthy session'
'he seems resigned to a shortened career'

2.1 archaic Surrender oneself to another's guidance.
'he vows to resign himself to her direction'

  • +1 I realized only after I answered the question myself that I'd missed the important criterion of the word being a verb. Yours is the better answer, assuming that. Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 20:55
  • @michael: They do. Acquiesce To acquiesce, is to accept something, reluctantly, but without protest. You got it in one.
    – voices
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 15:53

If you do something you don't like, don't agree with, or have reservations about (but out of some sense of duty or necessity), you do it grudgingly.

From Merriam-Webster's definitions of grudging:

// a grudging supporter of the reform movement
// a grudging admirer
2 : done, given, or allowed unwillingly, reluctantly, or sparingly
// grudging compliance

// Her theories have begun to win grudging acceptance in the scientific community.
// He has earned the grudging admiration of his rivals.
// Of the sons, only Kayce, the one who left (and who at some point became a war hero) has earned his father’s grudging respect, and Kayce wants no part of it.
— Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "With Kevin Costner in 'Yellowstone,' Paramount Network finds home on the range," 15 June 2018

In your examples, the opponent of euthanasia would grudgingly watch their friend end their life after suffering (you don't actually say this, but it's implied), or the soldier would grudgingly follow the orders of their superior officer.

As a verb, you might capitulate:


2 a : to surrender often after negotiation of terms
// The enemy was forced to capitulate unconditionally.
b : to cease resisting : ACQUIESCE
The company capitulated to the labor union to avoid a strike.

  • +1 for capitulate. I think you should reverse the order since this fits the question well.
    – S Conroy
    Commented Sep 22, 2018 at 22:01
  • I would almost have picked this one if it was just capitulate. Grudgingly spoiled it. Or maybe you should split this into 2 separate answers
    – voices
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 16:02

Maybe reluctantly [doing something] is what you want? "He reluctantly complied with the officer's orders." Or reluctant? "The reluctant boy handed his mother the toy."

Reluctantly. Adverb. in an unwilling and hesitant way.

Reluctant. Adjective. unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

Or maybe "caving in"?

"He didn't want to, but he eventually caved in."

to agree to demands that you originally opposed because you have become tired or frightened: "She accused the university of caving in to political pressures."

Or "resignation", in the sense that you don't want to do something, but do it anyway because you know you have no choice in the matter?

"He bit his tongue in resignation."

Noun. 2. the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable. (Google definition)


Not a perfect answer, but compliance or, as a verb, comply can be used with your meaning.

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