hesitate

[hez-i-teyt]
verb (used without object), hesitated, hesitating.
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.

Origin:
1615–25; < Latin haesitātus, past participle of haesitāre. See hesitant, -ate1

hesitater, hesitator, noun
hesitatingly, adverb
prehesitate, verb (used without object), prehesitated, prehesitating.


1. waver, vacillate, falter. 3. demur, delay.


1. decide. 3. hasten.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hesitate (ˈhɛzɪˌteɪt)
 
vb
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
 
[C17: from Latin haesitāre, from haerēre to cling to]
 
'hesitater
 
n
 
'hesitator
 
n
 
'hesitatingly
 
adv
 
hesi'tation
 
n
 
'hesitative
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hesitate
1620s, from L. haesitatum, pp. of haesitare (see hesitation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But the government has hesitated to extend the pain to senior bondholders.
He hesitated a moment to read the directions and then turned the extinguisher
  upside down.
And where it lacks genuine capabilities, it has not hesitated to fake them.
He hesitated some more until finally somehow the circle spit us out.
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