Share this entry
hesitation Line breaks: hesi|ta¦tion
Pronunciation: /hɛzɪˈteɪʃn/

Definition of hesitation in English:


[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).

Definition of hesitation in:
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.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words