hesitant

adjective
hes·​i·​tant | \ ˈhe-zə-tənt How to pronounce hesitant (audio) \

Definition of hesitant

: slow to act or proceed (as from fear, indecision, or unwillingness) : tending to hesitate : showing or feeling reluctance or hesitation took a hesitant step towards the door hesitant about accepting the job

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Other Words from hesitant

hesitantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for hesitant

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of hesitant in a Sentence

She took a hesitant step back from the door. He seems hesitant about accepting the job.
Recent Examples on the Web More people in the U.S. who have been hesitant are deciding to get a COVID-19 shot, according to a 5/28/21 Kaiser Family Foundation survey noted by Slotnik. Robin Lloyd, Scientific American, 4 June 2021 But at the time, Democratic leaders were hesitant — and for good reason, members said. Cayla Harris, San Antonio Express-News, 3 June 2021 Early in the pandemic, Ezequiel teamed up with physicians to go field to field for talks with farm crews that were hesitant, which drew the attention of local officials and growers who needed help communicating with their largely Mexican workforce. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Asian parents are also hesitant due to the recent spike in anti-Asian assaults. Chanté Griffin, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 May 2021 People who fear that clinical trials have been rushed and are still hesitant might respond favorably to information campaigns demonstrating the effects of the vaccines on the US population and elsewhere. Isabelle Brocas, Quartz, 25 May 2021 Zanuck was hesitant, unsure if the public would accept the darkly dashing star in less heroic parts. David Mermelstein, WSJ, 22 May 2021 People who fear that clinical trials have been rushed and are still hesitant might respond favorably to information campaigns demonstrating the effects of the vaccines on the U.S. population and elsewhere. Isabelle Brocas, The Conversation, 17 May 2021 The study, in partnership with other organizations, will help researchers determine how people make decisions about vaccination and who influences them, so providers can better reach the ones who are hesitant. Dallas News, 14 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hesitant.' 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 hesitant

1647, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hesitant

see hesitate

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Time Traveler for hesitant

Time Traveler

The first known use of hesitant was in 1647

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Statistics for hesitant

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hesitant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hesitant. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hesitant

hesitant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of hesitant

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

hesitant

adjective
hes·​i·​tant | \ ˈhe-zə-tənt How to pronounce hesitant (audio) \

Kids Definition of hesitant

: feeling or showing unwillingness to do something because of doubt or nervousness I was hesitant to join in.

Other Words from hesitant

hesitantly adverb Toby read … hesitantly, as if he didn't really believe what he was saying … — Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game

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