Synonyms & Antonyms of hesitant

slow to begin or proceed with a course of action because of doubts or uncertainty
  • he was hesitant about committing himself to the oversight of the project, which he knew would be long and difficult

Synonyms for hesitant

Words Related to hesitant

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Antonyms for hesitant

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Frequently Asked Questions About hesitant

How is the word hesitant different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of hesitant are averse, disinclined, loath, and reluctant. While all these words mean "lacking the will or desire to do something indicated," hesitant implies a holding back especially through fear or uncertainty.

hesitant about asking for a date

In what contexts can averse take the place of hesitant?

The synonyms averse and hesitant are sometimes interchangeable, but averse implies a holding back from or avoiding because of distaste or repugnance.

averse to hard work

not averse to an occasional drink

When might disinclined be a better fit than hesitant?

The words disinclined and hesitant can be used in similar contexts, but disinclined implies lack of taste for or inclination.

disinclined to move again

disinclined for reading

When is it sensible to use loath instead of hesitant?

While the synonyms loath and hesitant are close in meaning, loath implies hesitancy because of conflict with one's opinions, predilections, or liking.

seems loath to trust anyone

When could reluctant be used to replace hesitant?

The words reluctant and hesitant are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, reluctant implies a holding back through unwillingness.

a reluctant witness

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Time Traveler for hesitant

Time Traveler

The first known use of hesitant was in 1647

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Cite this Entry

“Hesitant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hesitant

Nglish: Translation of hesitant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hesitant for Arabic Speakers


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