beau geste

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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

beau geste was our Word of the Day on 05/07/2008. Hear the podcast!

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

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capable of being understood in two ways

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