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.
Recent Examples of hesitate from the Web
Asked what was working well, Brodell didn’t hesitate.
Outside of industry-wide pressure from regulators or insurers, individual companies may hesitate to spend more on security, despite the massive risks that hijacked and hacked cars pose.
Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams didn’t hesitate when a reporter asked Thursday about his mental approach to offseason training.
In a letter to Trump, Asha Deliverance said her son Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and two other men acted did not hesitate to confront the bully because the two female passengers were being harassed.
These brave men saw the immediate injustice and didn’t hesitate to act.
Steve Alford didn’t hesitate when asked about Lonzo Ball’s enthusiastic and controversial father, LaVar.
And even when the dolphin are biting, don’t hesitate to drop a butterfly jig or feather jig or live goggle-eye well below the debris.
Even young women who might hesitate to step through the door at other parlors find the atmosphere at the tower pleasant and inviting.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hesitate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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