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How to pronounce hesitate (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of hesitate

To pause or show reluctance before taking an action or making a decision.
"He didn't hesitate to grab a second piece of cake, as it was his favorite dessert."


Detailed meaning of hesitate

It denotes a momentary pause or indecisiveness characterized by doubt, uncertainty, or a lack of confidence. When someone hesitates, there is often an internal conflict, a weighing of options, or a consideration of potential consequences. This temporary pause can manifest as a delay in speech, a hesitant movement, or a visible sign of uncertainty. Hesitation can stem from various factors such as fear, apprehension, lack of information, or conflicting emotions. It is a natural response when confronted with choices or situations that evoke doubt or ambiguity. However, hesitation can also provide an opportunity for reflection, allowing individuals to gather their thoughts and carefully consider their next course of action.

Example sentences containing hesitate

1. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance.
2. Even though he was scared, he didn't hesitate to jump into the water to save the drowning child.
3. If you hesitate in making a decision, you might miss out on an amazing opportunity.
4. In times of danger, heroes don't hesitate to take action.
5. Many people hesitate when it comes to public speaking, fearing embarrassment.
6. If you feel unwell, do not hesitate to seek medical attention.

History and etymology of hesitate

The verb 'hesitate' has its roots in the Latin word 'haesitare,' which meant 'to stick fast' or 'to be undecided.' This Latin term evolved from 'haerere,' meaning 'to cling' or 'to adhere.' The idea of being stuck or clinging to a state of indecision is at the heart of the word 'hesitate.' Over time, 'hesitate' transitioned into English, maintaining its fundamental meaning of pausing or showing reluctance before taking action or making a decision. Its etymology underscores the concept of being mentally 'stuck' or uncertain, suggesting a momentary delay in moving forward due to doubts or hesitations.

Quiz: Find the meaning of hesitate

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Further usage examples of hesitate

1. She didn't hesitate to donate her favorite dress for the charity event.
2. In order to be successful in trading, one must not hesitate when the market fluctuates.
3. If you see someone in distress, don't hesitate to offer help.
4. As the quarterback, he can't hesitate when making a throw, or it may lead to a turnover.
5. When it comes to choosing healthy options, don't hesitate to go for fruits and vegetables.
6. In the face of adversity, she didn't hesitate to stand her ground and fight back.
7. Even though he was uncertain, he did not hesitate to step out of his comfort zone.
8. They did not hesitate to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
9. You shouldn't hesitate when you're at the edge of a life-changing decision.
10. The firefighter didn't hesitate when he ran into the burning building to save the trapped family.
11. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, don't hesitate to leave.
12. As an entrepreneur, she didn't hesitate to take risks in order to achieve her goals.
13. When it comes to education, one should not hesitate to invest time and effort.
14. Though she felt nervous about the exam, she didn't hesitate to study hard and prepare well.


vacillate, proceed, rush, act promptly


TOEFL 5, Choices and Decisions, Doubt and Skepticism

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