Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.
Related to hesitater: hesitate
intr.v. hes·i·tat·ed, hes·i·tat·ing, hes·i·tates
1. To pause or wait in uncertainty: She hesitated for a second before opening the door.
2. To be slow to act, speak, or decide: "I have for many months hesitated about the propriety of allowing this, or any part of my narrative, to come before the public eye, until after my death" (Thomas De Quincey).
3. To be reluctant: hesitated to pick up the pan, fearing it was hot.
[Latin haesitāre, haesitāt-, to hesitate, frequentative of haerēre, to hold fast.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.