hesitate

To hesitate is to pause before doing something, often out of concern or worry.

If you're playing basketball and have a wide-open shot but don't take it right away, you hesitated. Maybe you felt too much pressure to shoot the ball. When people are nervous or worried, they tend to hesitate. Hesitating while speaking is common. In class, if you're not sure you have the right answer, you'll hesitate. When giving bad news, people often hesitate. Sometimes it makes sense to hesitate and sometimes you just need to do what you have to do.

Definitions of hesitate
1

v pause or hold back in uncertainty or unwillingness

“Authorities hesitate to quote exact figures”
Synonyms:
waffle, waver
Types:
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
dwell on, linger over
delay
boggle
hesitate when confronted with a problem, or when in doubt or fear
hover, linger
move to and fro
hover, oscillate, vacillate, vibrate
be undecided about something; waver between conflicting positions or courses of action
falter, waver
be unsure or weak
shillyshally
be uncertain and vague

v interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing

Synonyms:
pause
Types:
hem and haw
utter `hems' and `haws'; indicated hesitation
scruple
hesitate on moral grounds
Type of:
delay
act later than planned, scheduled, or required

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