Definition of hesitation in English:

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Pronunciation: /hɛzɪˈteɪʃn/


[mass noun]
1The action of pausing before saying or doing something: she answered without hesitation
More example sentences
  • There are likely to be longer pauses and more hesitations, with great care being taken over what is being said.
  • And, however accurate, such transcripts are never complete, neither indicating the tone in which answers were given, nor the speakers' hesitations, pauses or accompanying gestures.
  • In spite of our training to look at body language and listen to a person's speech, we are rarely told to pay close attention to the hesitations and pauses that accompany a conversation.
uncertainty, hesitancy, hesitance, unsureness, doubt, doubtfulness, dubiousness, irresolution, irresoluteness, indecision, indecisiveness, equivocation, vacillation, oscillation, wavering, scepticism, nervousness, second thoughts;
British  havering, humming and hawing;
Scottish  swithering
rare dubiety, incertitude, cunctation
1.1 [usually with negative] Doubt or reluctance: I have no hesitation in recommending him
More example sentences
  • There was no hesitation or doubt for her, and therefore none for the audience.
  • Not for a moment is there any hesitation or doubt, as these obstacles have been transcended.
  • Gavin took the end of the rope and, with an impressive lack of hesitation, disappeared underwater.


Early 17th century: from Latin haesitatio(n)-, from haesitare (see hesitate).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hesi|ta¦tion

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