hesitate


verb (used without object), hes·i·tat·ed, hes·i·tat·ing.

  1. to be reluctant or wait to act because of fear, indecision, or disinclination: She hesitated to take the job.
  2. to have scruples or doubts; be unwilling: He hesitated to break the law.
  3. to pause: I hesitated before reciting the next line.
  4. to falter in speech; stammer: Embarrassment caused the speaker to hesitate.

verb (intr)

  1. to hold back or be slow in acting; be uncertain
  2. to be unwilling or reluctant (to do something)
  3. to stammer or pause in speaking
v.

1620s, from Latin haesitatum, past participle of haesitare (see hesitation). Related: Hesitated; hesitating.

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