hesitation vs waver what difference

what is difference between hesitation and waver


Alternative forms

  • hæsitation (chiefly archaic) [18th–19th C.]


From Latin haesitātiōnem, accusative singular of haesitātiō (hesitating, stammering), from haesitō (hesitate).


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /hɛzɪˈteɪʃən/
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən


hesitation (countable and uncountable, plural hesitations)

  1. An act of hesitating
  2. doubt; vacillation.
  3. A faltering in speech; stammering.


  • (act of hesitating): cunctation, hold-up; see also Thesaurus:delay
  • (doubt, vacillation): irresolution, wavering

Related terms

  • hesitate




From Middle English waveren, from Old Norse vafra (to flicker), akin to Old English wǣfre (restless, wavering). Related to wave.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈweɪ.və(ɹ)/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈweɪ.vɚ/
  • Rhymes: -eɪvə(ɹ)
  • Homophone: waiver


waver (third-person singular simple present wavers, present participle wavering, simple past and past participle wavered)

  1. (intransitive) To sway back and forth; to totter or reel.
    Flowers wavered in the breeze.
    • 1523–1525, Jean Froissart, John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (translator), Froissart’s Chronicles
      With banners and pennons wavering with the wind.
  2. (intransitive) To flicker, glimmer, quiver, as a weak light.
  3. (intransitive) To fluctuate or vary, as commodity prices or a poorly sustained musical pitch.
  4. (intransitive) To shake or tremble, as the hands or voice.
    His voice wavered when the reporter brought up the controversial topic.
  5. (intransitive) To falter; become unsteady; begin to fail or give way.
    • 2014, Jacob Steinberg, “Wigan shock Manchester City in FA Cup again to reach semi-finals”, The Guardian, 9 March 2014:
      Although they believe they can overhaul their 2-0 deficit, they cannot afford to be as lethargic as this at Camp Nou, and the time is surely approaching when Manuel Pellegrini’s faith in Martín Demichelis wavers.
  6. (intransitive) To be indecisive between choices; to feel or show doubt or indecision; to vacillate.
    Despite all the terrible things that happened to her, she never wavered from her beliefs.



waver (plural wavers)

  1. An act of wavering, vacillating, etc.
  2. Someone who waves, enjoys waving, etc.
    I felt encouraged by all the enthusiastic wavers in the crowd.
    The Fourth of July brings out all the flag wavers.
    Johnny is such a little waver; everyone who passes by receives his preferred greeting.
  3. Someone who specializes in waving (hair treatment).
  4. A tool that accomplishes hair waving.
  5. (Britain, dialect, dated) A sapling left standing in a fallen wood.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)


See also

  • waiver


  • waver at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • waver in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

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