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[hez-i-tey-shuh n] /ˌhɛz ɪˈteɪ ʃən/
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
First recorded in 1615-25, hesitation is from the Latin word haesitātiōn- (stem of haesitātiō). See hesitate, -ion
Related forms
prehesitation, noun
2. hesitancy, indecision, irresolution, vacillation. 3. stammer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hesitation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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 Marvin Dana
  • 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.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • "Because I wish to learn," I replied, after a moment's hesitation.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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