c. 1400, from Old French hesitacion or directly from Latin haesitationem (nominative haesitatio) "a hesitation, stammering," figuratively "irresolution, uncertainty," noun of action from past participle stem of haesitare "stick fast, remain fixed; stammer in speech," figuratively "hesitate, be irresolute, be at a loss, be undecided," frequentative of haerere "stick, cling," from PIE *ghais-e (source also of Lithuanian gaistu "to delay, tarry"), from root *ghais- "to adhere; hesitate."
1. Mirella approached him and, after a brief hesitation, shook his hand.
2. The board said it had no hesitation in unanimously rejecting the offer.
3. Referee Michael Reed had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.
4. With some hesitation and an uncertain smile, she held out her hand.