body language


Definition of body language 

: the gestures, movements, and mannerisms by which a person or animal communicates with others

Examples of body language in a Sentence

We could tell from his body language that he was nervous.

Recent Examples on the Web

The pitcher Pitchers can use body language to express their opinion, too. Lee Judge Special To The Star, kansascity, "Debate at the plate: Baseball's unwritten rules for arguing balls and strikes," 11 July 2018 Participants will practice speaking with confidence and authority and learn tips for using body language to enhance their message. Margeaux Sippell,, "Weekend business agenda," 7 June 2018 As body language expert Robin Kermode told the Daily Mail, the Queen rarely holds hands with Prince Philip in public, and other royals typically maintain that precedent. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Here's Why Harry and Meghan Hold Hands in Public, But Kate and William Don't," 8 May 2018 Franco was expressive with his body language and the two were joined by Carlos Santana and the team’s interpreter. Matt Breen,, "Gabe Kapler talks it out with Maikel Franco," 13 Apr. 2018 It is sometimes claimed that words convey just 7% of meaning, and that body language and tone of voice do the rest. The Economist, "What Koko the gorilla could and couldn’t do," 5 July 2018 Once again, the Gaines family is perfectly in sync, mirroring one another's body language. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Body Language Experts Analyze Chip and Joanna Gaines With Their New Baby Crew," 26 June 2018 Of course, the owner of the horse did not train the horse, did not ride the horse, and based on body language has never really met the horse. CBS News, "Jim Gaffigan on why he doesn't care about the Triple Crown," 3 June 2018 Although Kate's smile isn't as big as Meghan's, which appears to be genuine, there's no tension in either woman's body language that can't be chalked up to the cold. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, "A Body Language Expert Explains How Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton's Relationship Is Changing," 3 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'body language.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of body language

1885, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about body language

Share body language

Statistics for body language

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for body language

The first known use of body language was in 1885

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for body language

body language


English Language Learners Definition of body language

: movements or positions of the body that express a person's thoughts or feelings

More from Merriam-Webster on body language

See words that rhyme with body language

Comments on body language

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!