- to be reluctant or wait to act because of fear, indecision, or disinclination: She hesitated to take the job.
- to have scruples or doubts; be unwilling: He hesitated to break the law.
- to pause: I hesitated before reciting the next line.
- to falter in speech; stammer: Embarrassment caused the speaker to hesitate.
Origin of hesitate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for hesitate on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for hesitate
He does not hesitate to hide some Marxist books from her library because she fears that the military could use them against her.How Pope Francis Became the World’s BFF
December 21, 2014
When the group enters Terminus, Rick does not hesitate to fight.The Walking Dead’s Luke Skywalker: Rick Grimes Is the Perfect Modern-Day Mythical Hero
October 28, 2014
It also means that workers in the United States, like those in Spain, may hesitate to work around such patients.Can You Treat Ebola—And Stay Safe?
Abby Haglage, Kent Sepkowitz
October 12, 2014
I hesitate to speculate on exactly where the problem is, though after spending some time with the paper I have my suspicions.Black Holes Exist. So Does Bad Science
Matthew R. Francis
September 28, 2014
Because of disability trolling, some people may hesitate to disclose their differences right away.Disabled Woman Tackles the Dating Site Trolls
August 1, 2014
Percival, with his new air of Wall Street operator, was inclined to hesitate.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
She thought the people of the towns might hesitate to admit so many men strangers.The Trail Book
Mr Verloc, thinking of Mr Vladimir, did not hesitate in the choice of words.The Secret Agent
Shall we hesitate to devote to him whatever he claims, or whatever we can bestow?Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
But Gawtrey had been so earnest on the subject, that he felt as if he had no right to hesitate.Night and Morning, Complete
- to hold back or be slow in acting; be uncertain
- to be unwilling or reluctant (to do something)
- to stammer or pause in speaking
Word Origin and History for hesitate
1620s, from Latin haesitatum, past participle of haesitare (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating.