hesitate Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “hesitate” in the English Dictionary

"hesitate" in British English

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hesitateverb [I]

uk   us   /ˈhez.ɪ.teɪt/
B2 to ​pause before you do or say something, often because you are ​uncertain or ​nervous about it: She hesitated ​slightly before ​answering the detective's ​question. "Do you ​love me?" she ​asked. He hesitated and then said, "I'm not ​sure." [+ to infinitive] If you need anything, don't hesitate tocall me.

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(Definition of hesitate from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hesitate" in American English

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hesitateverb [I]

 us   /ˈhez·ɪˌteɪt/
to ​pause before you do or say something, often because you are ​uncertain or ​nervous about it: [+ to infinitive] If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ​call me.
hesitant
adjective  us   /ˈhez·ɪ·tənt/
[+ to infinitive] The ​bankmanager is hesitant to ​approve the ​loan.
hesitation
noun [U]  us   /ˌhez·ɪˈteɪ·ʃən/
There was some hesitation about ​inviting him.
(Definition of hesitate from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“hesitate” in American English

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