hesitant

play
adjective hes·i·tant \ˈhe-zə-tənt\

Definition of hesitant

  1. :  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>

hesitantly

adverb

Examples of hesitant in a sentence

  1. She took a hesitant step back from the door.

  2. He seems hesitant about accepting the job.

Origin and Etymology of hesitant

see hesitate


First Known Use: 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 English Language Learners

hesitant

play
adjective hes·i·tant \ˈhe-zə-tənt\

Definition of hesitant for English Language Learners

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


HESITANT Defined for Kids

hesitant

play
adjective hes·i·tant \ˈhe-zə-tənt\

Definition of hesitant for Students

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

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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