- the act of hesitating; a delay due to uncertainty of mind or fear: His hesitation cost him the championship.
- a state of doubt or uncertainty.
- a halting or faltering in speech.
Origin of hesitation
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hesitation
“Hesitation and half steps have consequences as well—and those remain to be determined,” Panetta said.Obama’s Ex-CIA Chief Slams White House for ‘Hesitation and Half Steps’
October 3, 2014
“There was a lot of hesitation from Joselito to really trust me,” Miller said.The Man Behind Marilyn Malkovich
October 2, 2014
The provocation is likely to end any hesitation in Britain over launching strikes against ISIS in Iraq.ISIS Murder of British Hostage Likely to Draw UK Deeper Into New War
September 13, 2014
With some hesitation, I spent some time viewing his material.An ISIS Killer in His Own Awful Words
September 3, 2014
Now, I get the hesitation some viewers felt about Jones doing this in front of a predominantly white SNL audience.The ‘SNL’ Race Controversy: Why Leslie Jones Can Say What She Likes
May 6, 2014
Philip, after a moment's hesitation, followed her, and paused in the doorway.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Between him and her as the victim of the law, there could be no hesitation for choice.Within the Law
And, after a second's hesitation: "I'm keeping straight, too."K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
"You'd better," he said, with quiet decision, cutting short my hesitation.
"Because I wish to learn," I replied, after a moment's hesitation.
Word Origin and History for hesitation
c.1400, from Old French hesitacion or directly from Latin haesitationem (nominative haesitatio) "a hesitation, stammering," figuratively "irresolution, uncertainty," from haesitare "stick fast, remain fixed; stammer in speech," figuratively "hesitate, be irresolute, be at a loss, be undecided," frequentative of haerere "stick, cling," from PIE *ghais-e (cf. Lithuanian gaistu "to delay, tarry"), from root *ghais- "to adhere; hesitate."