- 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
Synonyms for hesitateSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for hesitate
Related Words for hesitatedponder, pause, balk, waffle, waver, falter, stumble, dither, defer, swerve, pussyfoot, seesaw, debate, dillydally, alternate, delay, flounder, doubt, fumble, shrink
Examples from the Web for hesitated
Contemporary Examples of hesitated
She hesitated to explain any further because, she said, “TLC has kind of told us to hush-hush.”The Shocking Rise and Fall of ‘Honey Boo Boo’
October 24, 2014
Massachusetts has not hesitated to elect Republicans to statewide office in the past.Return of the Blue State Republican Governor?
September 10, 2014
However he hesitated when asked about similarities with Collins.Rand Paul's Maine Man
June 10, 2014
The cat, which had entered the room as he spoke, hesitated, looked up at him and snarled.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
One of the public defenders handed it to a marshal, who hesitated for just an instant before taking it.Gripping His Koran, Anas al-Liby Has His Day in Court
October 16, 2013
Historical Examples of hesitated
A bat circled near, indecisively, as if with a message it hesitated to give.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I hesitated and tried to think of some safe way out of the dilemma.Biography of a Slave
But therewith her own mind was made up: if he but hesitated, that would be enough!Weighed and Wanting
For an instant, he hesitated while the others regarded him doubtfully.
He hesitated a little, then went on, with a certain curious embarrassment.
- 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 for hesitate
1620s, from Latin haesitatum, past participle of haesitare (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating.