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hesitant

[hez-i-tuh nt] /ˈhɛz ɪ tənt/
adjective
1.
hesitating; undecided, doubtful, or disinclined.
2.
lacking readiness of speech.
Origin of hesitant
1640-1650
1640-50; < Latin haesitant- (stem of haesitāns), present participle of haesitāre to falter, hesitate, equivalent to haes(us), past participle of haerēre to stick, hold fast + -it- frequentative suffix + -ant- -ant
Related forms
hesitantly, adverb
nonhesitant, adjective
nonhesitantly, adverb
unhesitant, adjective
unhesitantly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hesitant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A hesitant, pleading call followed her, but she wouldn't hear it.

    Nobody Louis Joseph Vance
  • He shuddered and turned back into the lobby, hesitant and wretched.

    The Winning Clue

    James Hay, Jr.
  • Helena stood preoccupied and hesitant, hardly hearing what he said, as I fancy.

    The Lady and the Pirate Emerson Hough
  • It was evidently with hesitant spirits that the Board finally acted.

  • But as he halted, hesitant, the sunlight fell full on his face.

British Dictionary definitions for hesitant

hesitant

/ˈhɛzɪtənt/
adjective
1.
wavering, hesitating, or irresolute
Derived Forms
hesitance, hesitancy, noun
hesitantly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hesitant
adj.

1640s, probably a back-formation from hesitancy, or else from Latin haesitantem. Related: Hesitantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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11
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