Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

beau geste

play
noun \bō-ˈzhest\

Definition of beau geste

plural

beaux gestes

or

beau gestes

\bō-ˈzhest\
  1. 1 :  a graceful or magnanimous gesture

  2. 2 :  an ingratiating conciliatory gesture



Did You Know?

Beau geste is a phrase borrowed from French; the literal translation is "beautiful gesture." Beau Geste is also the title of a 1924 novel by Percival Christopher Wren, featuring three English brothers who join the French Foreign Legion to repair their family honor. The novel spawned several film versions, including one starring Gary Cooper. Wren didn't invent the phrase "beau geste," which first appeared in print in 1900, but the publicity surrounding the novel and subsequent films likely contributed to the expression's popularity.

Origin and Etymology of beau geste

French, literally, beautiful gesture


First Known Use: 1900


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up beau geste? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!