Definition of hesitant in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈhɛzɪt(ə)nt/


Tentative, unsure, or slow in acting or speaking: clients are hesitant about buying her slow, hesitant way of speaking
More example sentences
  • The kiss was slow and innocent at first, apprehensive; he was still hesitant and unsure.
  • I know that you run into a lot of people who are hesitant to accept the fact that you say you do this.
  • I was a little nervous and hesitant about taking on the job three years ago but I am glad that I did.
uncertain, undecided, unsure, doubtful, in doubt, dubious, tentative, half-hearted, ambivalent, sceptical, reluctant, nervous, having misgivings, having qualms, hanging back, stalling, delaying;
irresolute, hesitating, indecisive, dithering, vacillating, wavering, oscillating, shilly-shallying, in two minds, in a quandary, in a dilemma, on the horns of a dilemma;
British  havering, humming and hawing
informal iffy, dilly-dallying, blowing hot and cold
rare cunctatory
lacking confidence, diffident, timid, shy, bashful, insecure, self-effacing;
stammering, stuttering, stumbling, faltering


Late Middle English: from Latin haesitant- 'being undecided', from the verb haesitare (see hesitate).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hesi|tant

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words