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

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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

Wearing a black Dior powersuit, Theron answered without hesitation. Vogue, "Chrissy Teigen and Darren Criss Rocked and Rolled at the 2019 City Harvest Gala," 2 May 2019 After some hesitation, Siyonbola handed her ID over. Brandon Griggs, CNN, "A black Yale graduate student took a nap in her dorm's common room. So a white student called police," 9 May 2018 There has been general hesitation to diagnose personality disorders in those under 18. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 Fans of 9 to 5 have been been clamoring for the film's iconic trio to reunite since Grace & Frankie's first season, but in the beginning, there was a hesitation about bringing in Parton for a cameo. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Grace and Frankie," 27 Jan. 2019 Media: Fox9 There was a little hesitation at first and then fireworks began shooting into the darkened sky. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Liberty fireworks go on despite rain," 5 July 2018 There’s a hesitation in having a brand name like that in your kitchen. Bloomberg.com, "The Only People Who Aren’t Using Instant Pots? Chefs," 27 Apr. 2018 Jade Miller poked the puck ahead to Kuhlman at the Irish blue line, and after a brief hesitation in the right circle, the captain beat Morris with a rising shot. Mike Cook, chicagotribune.com, "Minnesota Duluth beats Notre Dame 2-1 for NCAA men's hockey title," 8 Apr. 2018 In the past, authoritarians showed little hesitation in sending their forces to the slaughterhouse. Lionel Beehner, Washington Post, "Russia is trying to limit its casualties in Syria. Here’s why that is bad for Syrian civilians.," 28 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of hesitation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near hesitation





hesitation form



Statistics for hesitation

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for hesitation

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

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Comments on hesitation

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using a distributed computer network

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