hes·​i·​ta·​tion | \ˌhe-zə-ˈtā-shən \

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

The Mariners’ hesitation about not pushing for an extension with Cruz was due largely to the uncertainty of the direction the organization wants to go with its roster construction. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "Nelson Cruz headlines group of seven Mariners that are now free agents," 29 Oct. 2018 Volvo has kept the control weights low, and there's little slack or hesitation in the steering. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Volvo’s new V60 is proof the station wagon must never die," 17 Oct. 2018 Fenerbahce are now favourites to sign Meyer after initial hesitation, with the German's agent in talks with the club. SI.com, "Max Meyer Could Move to Turkey After Being Rejected By Liverpool and Arsenal Due to Wage Demands," 13 July 2018 There is little hesitation about dumping a brand app that is slow, crashes, has a poor layout, doesn’t offer exclusive sales or promotions, or pushes too many notifications. New York Times, "Mobile Apps Are Musts for Most Brands, as Long as Users Like Them," 17 June 2018 But with a stronger body and more rhythm to his swing and more feel in his hands, there was no hesitation to give it a go. Steve Dimeglio, USA TODAY, "Tiger Woods bounces back to get within striking distance of lead at Bay Hill," 17 Mar. 2018 There was no hesitation about participating, Rosen said. Gary Klein, latimes.com, "USC quarterback Sam Darnold and UCLA's Josh Rosen once again competed against each other Friday at NFL combine," 3 Mar. 2018 Joining us now to discuss how much trouble Ms Page might be in and why the hesitation to testify today. Fox News, "Meadows, Dershowitz react after Lisa Page defies subpoena," 12 July 2018 Twenty-four hours later, the Bulls had won and Hutchison produced a double-double, playing with confidence and no hesitation. K.c. Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Bulls' Chandler Hutchison shows serious side about improvement," 12 July 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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Statistics for hesitation

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

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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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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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