- 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
Examples from the Web for hesitating
Contemporary Examples of hesitating
If the matter were just about adding his name to backers of the legislation, Rubio would not be hesitating.Marco Rubio Weighs Supporting Abortion Ban, a Tricky Stand
July 10, 2013
In other states, unusual circumstances have left the Democrats hesitating while Republicans forge ahead with runs.The Democrats' 2012 Senate Blues
David A. Graham
April 7, 2011
Historical Examples of hesitating
The reporter stood with clenched fists and flashing eyes, hesitating.In the Midst of Alarms
"Miss Moore," he said in a hesitating manner, taking off his hat as he spoke.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
Low and hesitating as it was, Hiram started violently at the sound.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
Hesitating to advance, he pointed out the place to the attention of his companion.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
"I think I had better not," replied Eudora, in a hesitating voice.The Yates Pride
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
- 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.