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.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.