Hesitate meaning

hĕzĭ-tāt
Hesitate is defined as to pause before deciding, acting or speaking.

An example of to hesitate is to stop before walking into the street.

verb
20
6
To pause or wait in uncertainty.

She hesitated for a second before opening the door.

verb
15
6
To be slow to act, speak, or decide.
verb
10
5
To stop because of indecision; pause or delay in acting, choosing, or deciding because of feeling unsure; waver.
verb
7
7
To be reluctant.

Hesitated to pick up the pan, fearing it was hot.

verb
6
6
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To pause; stop momentarily.
verb
3
3
(intransitive) To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be in suspense or uncertainty as to a determination.

He hesitated whether to accept the offer or not; men often hesitate in forming a judgment.

verb
2
3
(poetic, rare) To utter with hesitation or to intimate by a reluctant manner.
verb
2
3
To be reluctant; not be sure that one should.

Hesitating to ask.

verb
1
3
(intransitive) To stammer; to falter in speaking.
verb
1
3
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Origin of hesitate

  • Latin haesitāre haesitāt- to hesitate frequentative of haerēre to hold fast

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare, intensive of haerere (“to hesitate, stick fast; to hang or hold fast”). Compare aghast, gaze, adhere.

    From Wiktionary