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hesitate - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive] hesitate pronunciation in British English /ˈhezɪteɪt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlehesitating
past tensehesitated
past participlehesitated
  1. to pause before doing something, or to do something very slowly, usually because you are nervous, embarrassed, or worried

    He hesitated a moment, and then knocked on the door.

    hesitate to do something:

    My mother never hesitates to tell me when I look bad.



used to describe something which is done more carefully and over a longer period of time …

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the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

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