Definition of hesitate
1 : to hold back in doubt or indecision <She didn't hesitate when they offered her the job.>
2 : to delay momentarily : pause <He hesitated and waited for her to say something.>
3 : stammer
: to hold back from (doing or saying something) in doubt or uncertainty <Don't hesitate to call if you need something.>
hesitatinglyplay \ˈhe-zə-ˌtā-tiŋ-lē\ adverb
Examples of hesitate in a sentence
She hesitated and waited for her friend to say something.
He hesitated about accepting the job.
I sometimes hesitate to say what I am really thinking.
I hesitated to come without being asked.
I wouldn't hesitate to ask for your help if I felt I needed it.
Don't hesitate to call if there is a problem.
Origin and Etymology of hesitate
Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare to stick fast, hesitate, frequentative of haerēre to stick
First Known Use: 1598
Synonym Discussion of hesitate
HESITATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hesitate for English Language Learners
: to stop briefly before you do something especially because you are nervous or unsure about what to do
: to be unwilling to do something because of doubt or uncertainty
HESITATE Defined for Kids
Definition of hesitate for Students
1 : to pause before doing something <He hesitated before crossing the stream.>
2 : to be unwilling to do something because of doubt or nervousness <Don't hesitate to ask for help.>
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