body language


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

Example Sentences

We could tell from his body language that he was nervous.
Recent Examples on the Web Master Body Language To be approachable, introverted leaders must master body language. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 Sometimes our intuition can give us clues; strange body language, inconsistencies in what people tell us, or their behavior. Conor Feehly, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2023 Jeff’s question remains rhetorical and the audience is left to assume that Jeff takes whatever Shauna says (verbally or in body language) at face value and accepts her all the same. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Apr. 2023 And why was her tribe so terrible at reading body language? Dalton Ross,, 9 Mar. 2023 Her nuanced performance, all about looks and body language, is all the more remarkable for Hussein’s almost complete ignorance of the medium. Patrick Frater, Variety, 17 Feb. 2023 Anyone walking into one of Eggleston’s pictures would be sized up, shunned, or accepted, according to elaborate codes of body language, clothing, race, gender, and age. Vulture, 6 Jan. 2023 The best that senior aides could do was to try to read Mr. Putin’s body language. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, 16 Dec. 2022 This includes hand gestures, body language, sounds, cultural norms and more. Daryl Perry, USA TODAY, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'body language.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1885, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of body language was in 1885

Dictionary Entries Near body language

Cite this Entry

“Body language.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

body language

: movements (as with the hands) or posture used as a means of expression

More from Merriam-Webster on body language

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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