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[hez-i-tuh n-see] /ˈhɛz ɪ tən si/
noun, plural hesitancies
hesitation; indecision or disinclination.
Also, hesitance.
Origin of hesitancy
From the Latin word haesitantia, dating back to 1610-20. See hesitant, -ancy
Related forms
prehesitancy, noun, plural prehesitancies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hesitance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ah, that had been the crux of it all, of her doubt, of her hesitance.

    Parrot & Co. Harold MacGrath
  • The hesitance over the "von" did not strike his usually keen ear.

    The Princess Elopes Harold MacGrath
  • She could also make clear her reason for hesitance and deliberation.

    The Shuttle Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Glad with eager eyes on him handed the child to Polly and sat down without a moment's hesitance, avid of what was to come.

    The Dawn of a To-morrow Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The countenance of both Mr. Palford and his party expressed a certain degree of hesitance.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • However, as in all cases heretofore, they relied upon the resourcefulness and hesitance of the junior president.

  • And, under the influence of his reassuring kindliness, her hesitance and misgivings disappeared.

    No Clue James Hay
  • Her hesitance now made him uneasy; he recognized the necessity of increasing her reliance upon him.

    No Clue James Hay
Word Origin and History for hesitance

c.1600, from Latin haesitantia (see hesitancy).



1610s, from Latin haesitantia "action of stammering," from haesitantem (nominative haesitans) "stammering," present participle of haesitare (see hesitation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hesitance in Medicine

hesitancy hes·i·tan·cy (hěz'ĭ-tən-sē)
An involuntary delay or inability in starting the urinary stream.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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