hesitate

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he who hesitates (is lost)

Those who fail to take quick, decisive action will suffer for it or miss a good opportunity. A: "If only I'd invested in that company when they started up, I'd be a millionaire by now!" B: "Well, he who hesitates is lost." A: "You could have mitigated your losses if you'd dealt with the problem right away, but—" B: "Yeah, yeah, he who hesitates. I know."
See also: he, hesitate, who

He who hesitates is lost.

Prov. People should act decisively. Jill: Should I apply for that job? At first I thought I definitely should, but now I don't know.... Jane: She who hesitates is lost. Call that girl and ask her out. Call her right now. He who hesitates is lost.
See also: he, hesitate, lost, who

hesitate over something

to pause before acting on something; to suspend action about someone or something. We are hesitating over the final decision because we have some doubts about the competitors. Do not hesitate too long over this matter.
See also: hesitate, over

If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to ask.

a polite phrase offering help in finding something or by providing something. (Often said by a host or by someone helping someone settle into something. See also If you don't see what you want, please ask (for it).) Mary: This looks very nice. I'll be quite comfortable here. Jane: If there's anything you need, don't hesitate to ask. "If there is anything you need, don't hesitate to ask," said the room clerk.
See also: anything, ask, hesitate, if

he who hesitates is lost

One who cannot come to a decision will suffer for it, as in I couldn't make up my mind, and now the offer has expired-he who hesitates is lost. Although the idea is undoubtedly older, the present wording is a misquotation or an adaptation from Joseph Addison's play Cato (1712): "The woman that deliberates is lost."
See also: he, hesitate, lost, who

he who ˈhesitates (is ˈlost)

(saying) if you delay in doing something you may lose a good opportunity: You should have applied for that job. I’m sure you would have got it. Remember, he who hesitates...
See also: he, hesitate, who
References in periodicals archive ?
22% disagreed; 42% hesitated to answer the question, while 2% refused to answer.
Maitland fumed: "Ray was having a fantastic game then instead of hammering the ball up the park he hesitated.
Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign, agreed, though she hesitated to pin the blame entirely on Bush.
Hale, however, denies the school hesitated in addressing the situation.
The young girl hesitated, then continued, "To run, to laugh and to love.
I indicated that I thought that stock market to be overvalued, but hesitated to take a strong stand that the up-trend would not be extended.
I've always hesitated slightly when calling myself a director, because you never quite know when you become a director.
Grandjean and his colleagues hesitated to recommend that mothers stop breast-feeding.
One small-press person remarks, "I hesitated to return it to you because I was busy reading it.
Many post-production companies have expressed an interest in moving to the digital intermediate process, but have hesitated because the solutions currently available have been long on promises, prohibitively expensive and short on delivering a real-time integrated product with expansion capabilities.
But the school board, facing financial struggles, hesitated to spend the money and came up with suggestions including sending Castaic high school students to Golden Valley High School, some 17 miles away.
Whatever else he did, however much he hesitated and backed down, Carter had established the principle that governments throughout the hemisphere, and the world, were internationally accountable for the way they treated their own citizens.
We could not fit an expensive production tester into our budget and we hesitated integrating boundary scan into functional test-stations, as we anticipated heavy development and debug.
It didn't matter if I was making a bed or making a movie, they never hesitated to tell me how proud they were of me,'' she said.
The seventh consecutive quarterly loss was caused partly by disappointing license revenues, as customers hesitated to buy Baan products after the negative results and the sudden resignations of Chief Executive Mary Coleman and Chief Financial Officer Jim Mooney early this year.