hes·​i·​tan·​cy | \ ˈhe-zə-tən(t)-sē How to pronounce hesitancy (audio) \
plural hesitancies

Definition of hesitancy

1 : the quality or state of being hesitant: such as
b : reluctance took that drastic step only with the greatest hesitancy

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Examples of hesitancy in a Sentence

his appointment to the superintendency was confirmed by the school board without the least hesitancy his hesitancy in pulling over into the next lane while he had a chance resulted in him missing his exit
Recent Examples on the Web There's still artists who might have some hesitancy about playing Las Vegas. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Keith Urban Talks Las Vegas Residency, His Love of Post Malone & Why He Owes Hulk Hogan," 30 Jan. 2020 Klinger attributed the improved sell-through rate to auction companies’ hesitancy in bringing high-dollar cars. Lorraine Longhi, azcentral, "Arizona Car Week wraps up with $244 million in sales across 7 days and 8 auctions, reflects fewer cars over $1M," 21 Jan. 2020 The hesitancy among some corporate leaders to do a real assessment of carbon risk is indicative of how far there is to go to see wide-scale mitigation, advocates say. Washington Post, "Davos elite want to plant 1 trillion trees to help the planet, but many still fight a carbon tax," 24 Jan. 2020 The lack of spacing, coupled with a hesitancy to take outside shots, handicapped Michigan's offense and forced the Wolverines to emphasize post play. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's road shooting woes continue: 'We just gotta be confident'," 6 Jan. 2020 The other personnel changes may have contributed to some early confusion and hesitancy. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "How Ohio State’s defense, staggered at first against Michigan, came together: Buckeye Rewatch," 2 Dec. 2019 Officers’ hesitancy to charge cases in which victims did not physically resist suspects was one of the main issues identified in a 2017 audit of unfounded Baltimore County rape cases. Catherine Rentz, baltimoresun.com, "Audit finds Baltimore County needs to improve sexual assault investigations; officials say progress being made," 18 Oct. 2019 The test exposes vibration, stalling, hesitancy, and lack of trigger response. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Cordless Electric Chainsaws," 31 July 2019 In some communities, anti-vaccine activists have spread false claims about the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, fueling refusal or hesitancy among parents about immunizing their children. oregonlive, "US measles cases surge as officials scramble to stop near-record outbreak," 22 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hesitancy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hesitancy

1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hesitancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of hesitancy was in 1617

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Statistics for hesitancy

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hesitancy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hesitancy. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for hesitancy


hes·​i·​tan·​cy | \ ˈhe-zə-tən-sē How to pronounce hesitancy (audio) \

Kids Definition of hesitancy

: the quality or state of being unwilling to do something because of doubt or nervousness

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More from Merriam-Webster on hesitancy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hesitancy

Spanish Central: Translation of hesitancy

Nglish: Translation of hesitancy for Spanish Speakers

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