hesitant

[hez-i-tuh nt]
See more synonyms for hesitant on Thesaurus.com

Origin of hesitant

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 formshes·i·tant·ly, adverbnon·hes·i·tant, adjectivenon·hes·i·tant·ly, adverbun·hes·i·tant, adjectiveun·hes·i·tant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hesitantly

shyly, carefully, falteringly

Examples from the Web for hesitantly

Contemporary Examples of hesitantly

Historical Examples of hesitantly

  • Hesitantly, he reached out and touched a button on the intercom.

  • "Yes," said he, hesitantly, with a backward glance into the room.

    When Life Was Young

    C. A. Stephens

  • "I believe we did, on several occasions," Egavine said hesitantly.

    The Star Hyacinths

    James H. Schmitz

  • Trigger said hesitantly, "Those people who were chasing this car—"

    Legacy

    James H Schmitz

  • Then hesitantly continuing: "If you could spare an hour or two this afternoon——?"

    Stubble

    George Looms


British Dictionary definitions for hesitantly

hesitant

adjective
  1. wavering, hesitating, or irresolute
Derived Formshesitance or hesitancy, nounhesitantly, 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

Word Origin and History for hesitantly

hesitant

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper