Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To pause or wait in uncertainty.
  • intransitive verb To be slow to act, speak, or decide.
  • intransitive verb To be reluctant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hold back in doubt or indecision; refrain or delay by reason of uncertainty or difficulty of decision or choice: as, he hesitated to believe the report; they hesitate about taking so dangerous a step.
  • To halt or falter in speech, through indecision or embarrassment; make irregular involuntary pauses; stammer.
  • Synonyms Waver, etc. (see scruple); delay, vacillate, deliberate, doubt, be undetermined, demur.
  • See stammner.
  • To utter or express with hesitation or reluctantly; insinuate dubiously.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be in suspense or uncertainty as to a determination
  • intransitive verb To stammer; to falter in speaking.
  • transitive verb Poetic & R. To utter with hesitation or to intimate by a reluctant manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be in suspense or uncertainty as to a determination.
  • verb intransitive To stammer; to falter in speaking.
  • verb transitive, poetic, rare To utter with hesitation or to intimate by a reluctant manner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing
  • verb pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin haesitāre, haesitāt-, to hesitate, frequentative of haerēre, to hold fast.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin haesitatus, past participle of haesitare, intensive of haerere ("to hesitate, stick fast; to hang or hold fast"). Compare aghast, gaze, adhere.

Examples

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director Mueller's job or position to be drawing a legal conclusion about the program; that he was very supportive to me personally.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The reason I hesitate is I don't know that the Department of Justice's certification was required by statute -- in fact, it was not, as far as I know -- or by regulation, but that it was the practice in this particular program, when it was renewed, that the attorney general sign off as to its legality.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The reason I hesitate is I don't know that the Department of Justice's certification was required by statute -- in fact, it was not, as far as I know -- or by regulation, but that it was the practice in this particular program, when it was renewed, that the attorney general sign off as to its legality.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: Well, the only reason I hesitate is that I'm no presidential scholar.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director Mueller's job or position to be drawing a legal conclusion about the program; that he was very supportive to me personally.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: Well, the only reason I hesitate is that I'm no presidential scholar.

    Balkinization

  • COMEY: The only reason I hesitate is it was never Director Mueller's job or position to be drawing a legal conclusion about the program; that he was very supportive to me personally.

    Balkinization

Comments

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