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Hesitate vs Waver vs Vacillate vs Falter

Hesitate, wavervacillatefalter all mean to show irresolution or uncertainty.

Hesitate, the general term, usually implies a pause or other sign of indecision before one makes up one's mind what to do, say, or choose.

Waver (see also SWING 2 ) implies hesitation after a decision has been reached and so usually connotes weakness or retreat.

Vacillate implies prolonged hesitation resulting from one's inability to reach a fixed or final decision; the term connotes alternate decision and indecision or a shifting (as in opinions, choices, or loyalties).

Falter suggests a wavering in purpose or action that is evident or is made evident in such signs of fear or nervousness as trembling or the breaking of the voice.