hes·​i·​ta·​tion ˌhe-zə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce hesitation (audio)
: an act or instance of hesitating
: a pausing or faltering in speech

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 Other factors added to the delay, including late spring rains, but the Ukrainian government’s evolving argument was that the West’s hesitation over sending more powerful and sophisticated weapons was costly in terms of the counteroffensive’s effectiveness. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Part of the hesitation to go electric is driven by a partisan divide. Shannon Osaka, Emily Guskin, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2023 The masculine ideal is presenting yourself without fears or hesitation. Meredith Maran, Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2023 The only notable hesitation was the price, paired with the smaller jar size. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2023 Pagès’s primary hesitation at the moment is whether Hollywood stars will attend shows amid the strikes and risk possible negative attention. José Criales-Unzueta, Vogue, 5 Sep. 2023 Any hesitation by Dallas to reach an extension next season would stem from a lackluster performance by Prescott, not Lance’s imposing presence. David Moore, Dallas News, 27 Aug. 2023 Additionally, the federal government's stance on Delta 8 THC is unclear, which has caused some confusion and hesitation among businesses that may want to sell it. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Sep. 2023 Meanwhile, Brando, a Fox Sports commentator, called Saban out for the hesitation, calling it beneath the GOAT. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 3 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hesitation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near hesitation

Cite this Entry

“Hesitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hesitation. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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