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 Minnesota has just enough of an offense to keep things close and that causes a good bit of hesitation. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota Wild at New York Rangers odds, picks and best bets," 25 Nov. 2019 When Turner was out, the Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls attacked them at the rim without hesitation. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Fully healthy Pacers look uncharacteristically sloppy in loss to N.Y. Knicks," 2 Feb. 2020 After some hesitation, and to the crowd's great relief, the car eventually made it through despite irregular waves of pedestrians and other vehicles darting in and out of view. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "AMD’s Command Performace at CES 2020 Was Years in the Making," 10 Jan. 2020 After some initial hesitation, Claiborne agreed to do it. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Former USC linebacker Chris Claiborne finds his place as high school coach in California," 31 Aug. 2019 It is understood that, after some previous hesitation over paying the full €40m release clause, the Bundesliga outfit almost instantaneously triggered the clause once the Sanches deal was agreed. SI.com, "Report: Bayern Munich Agrees to Pay Release Clause for Espanyol Midfielder Marc Roca," 23 Aug. 2019 After initial hesitation, President Obama declared that Assad must go, but without lending more than grudging assistance to rebel groups fighting to achieve that outcome. Brian Stewart, National Review, "For Sama: A Chronicle of the Syrian Tragedy," 10 Aug. 2019 Without any hesitation, Harry came straight over to the little boy and shook his hand — which, of course, caused the delighted crowd of parents to swoon. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Meghan Markle Go Out of Her Way to Grab Prince Harry's Attention in This Adorable Clip," 1 Feb. 2019 The Longhorns manufactured 15 3-pointers (on 32 attempts) by whipping the ball around with little hesitation. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Success in Stillwater fortifies Texas ahead of meeting with No. 6 Kansas," 17 Jan. 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.

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First Known Use of hesitation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hesitation

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hesitation

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hesitation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hesitation. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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