hesitation

noun
hes·​i·​ta·​tion | \ ˌhe-zə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce hesitation (audio) \

Definition of hesitation

1 : an act or instance of hesitating
2 : a pausing or faltering in speech

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of hesitation in a Sentence

one moment's hesitation on my part, and the elusive butterfly was lost to me forever
Recent Examples on the Web There was no hesitation on the canvases, no timidity. Ann Patchett, Harper's Magazine, "These Precious Days," 5 Jan. 2021 Obama shake 50 hands without hesitation, saw LeBron James and Anthony Davis mobbed by a mass of teenagers at the YMCA and checked out Chance the Rapper’s performance as thousands of people stood together at the United Center. Jamal Collier, chicagotribune.com, "2020 flashback: The NBA All-Star Game comes to Chicago as one of the last major sporting events before the COVID-19 pandemic," 31 Dec. 2020 Normally, this is a risk medical staff take without hesitation. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, "What the Chaos in Hospitals Is Doing to Doctors," 22 Dec. 2020 So there was no hesitation when Kant, who has worked at the medical center for 28 years, got vaccinated Tuesday at 11 a.m. Los Angeles Times, "They risk their lives cleaning hospitals. Now, they are getting vaccinated. ‘I want people to know that we exist’," 19 Dec. 2020 There was no hesitation on having a trick-play reverse that resulted in WR Tyler Snead throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass against a Mustangs defense that was hapless outside of three possessions to start the third quarter. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "SMU’s conference title hopes go up in smoke after losing to 3-win East Carolina," 28 Nov. 2020 For the White Hall district -- for Superintendent Dorris -- to know these students and families well enough to see that need and, without hesitation, jump to their aid says a lot about Dorris and his team and his school board. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | EDITORIAL: White Hall meals fill bellies, soothe souls," 13 Dec. 2020 The bride to be did have a little hesitation before committing to a ranch wedding. Rebecca Angel Baer, Southern Living, "Alex Drummond And Mauricio Scott Have Set the Date and Picked a Venue," 4 Dec. 2020 After months of hesitation and uncertainty in the tennis world, a welcome development arrived on Thursday: the men’s and women’s singles draws for the United States Open. Max Gendler, New York Times, "U.S. Open Draw Lacks Some Stars, but Not Story Lines," 27 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of hesitation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hesitation

Time Traveler for hesitation

Time Traveler

The first known use of hesitation was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hesitation

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hesitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hesitation. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hesitation

What made you want to look up hesitation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!