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

Without hesitation, players and coaches believe that their fans will be a key factor in their quest to reach a ninth Gold Cup final. Drake Hills, azcentral, "Mexico expects home crowd for Gold Cup semifinal against Haiti at State Farm Stadium," 1 July 2019 But can Broward County prosecutors prove his hesitation to act amounts to a crime? CBS News, "Legal experts question arrest of ex-deputy who didn't confront Parkland shooter," 5 June 2019 And despite my previous hesitations about beige, the straw color seems to flatter my skin tone as well. Bridget Burns, Marie Claire, "The Item I Wear to Death: My Vintage Calvin Klein Duster Coat," 15 May 2019 His hesitation might have been inspired by the headlines. Mene Ukueberuwa, WSJ, "The Yeoman Work Behind 5G Wizardry," 10 May 2019 Despite his initial hesitation, Quaid took on the challenge. Stephanie Nolasco, Fox News, "Dennis Quaid admits he's 'really nervous' about playing Ronald Reagan," 22 Aug. 2018 My hesitation stems from two fridge-raiding adult sons who hoovered down my entire supply of this IPA, except for a lone can. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Military-themed Honor Brewing's San Diego tour of duty," 3 May 2018 Rubio ultimately sided with all other Republicans to confirm Bridenstine as the NASA chief despite his hesitations, arguing that Trump deserves to have his team in place across the administration. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Republican judges warn of ‘tyranny’ as they block Trump on ‘sanctuary cities’," 20 Apr. 2018 For Jennifer Waisath Harris, a political strategist in Austin, Texas, there was no hesitation this May when a call from nearby Ascension Seton Medical Center came across her mobile device. Tony Romm, The Denver Post, "Robocalls are overwhelming hospitals and patients, threatening a new kind of health crisis," 23 June 2019

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

12 Jul 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

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


to form ideas or theories about something

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