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Alternative forms[edit]


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



hesitate (third-person singular simple present hesitates, present participle hesitating, simple past and past participle hesitated)

  1. (intransitive) To stop or pause respecting decision or action; to be in suspense or uncertainty as to a determination.
    He hesitated whether to accept the offer or not; men often hesitate in forming a judgment.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Alexander Pope to this entry?)
  2. (intransitive) To stammer; to falter in speaking.
  3. (transitive, poetic, rare) To utter with hesitation or to intimate by a reluctant manner.

Usage notes[edit]


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]