American English

Definition of hesitate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they hesitate
    he / she / it hesitates
    past simple hesitated
    -ing form hesitating
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to be slow to speak or act because you feel uncertain or nervous She hesitated before replying. He seemed to hesitate a second. hesitate about/over something I didn't hesitate for a moment about taking the job. She stood there, hesitating over whether or not to tell him the truth. + speech “I'm not sure,” she hesitated.
  2. 2[intransitive] hesitate to do something to be worried about doing something, especially because you are not sure that it is right or appropriate Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries. If you'd like me to send you the book, then please don't hesitate to ask.
  3. Idioms
    he who hesitates (is lost) (saying)
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    if you delay in doing something you may lose a good opportunity
noun [uncountable, countable] She agreed without the slightest hesitation. Ihave no hesitation in recommending her for the job. He spoke fluently and without unnecessary hesitations.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: hesitate