Dictionary

hesitant

adjective hes·i·tant \ˈhe-zə-tənt\

: slow to act or speak especially because you are nervous or unsure about what to do : feeling or showing hesitation

Full Definition of HESITANT

:  tending to hesitate :  slow to act or proceed
hes·i·tant·ly adverb
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of HESITANT

  1. She took a hesitant step back from the door.
  2. He seems hesitant about accepting the job.

First Known Use of HESITANT

1647

Synonym Discussion of HESITANT

disinclined, hesitant, reluctant, loath, averse mean lacking the will or desire to do something indicated. disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination <disinclined to move again> <disinclined for reading>. hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty <hesitant about asking for a date>. reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness <a reluctant witness>. loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking <seems loath to trust anyone>. averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance <averse to hard work> <not averse to an occasional drink>.
HESITANT Defined for Kids

hesitant

adjective hes·i·tant \ˈhe-zə-tənt\

Definition of HESITANT for Kids

:  feeling or showing unwillingness to do something because of doubt or nervousness <I was hesitant to join in.>
hes·i·tant·ly adverb <Toby read … hesitantly, as if he didn't really believe what he was saying … — Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game>

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: hesitatePrevious Word in the Dictionary: hesitancyAll Words Near: hesitant
July 29, 2015
indomitable Hear it
incapable of being subdued or conquered
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears