ges·​tic·​u·​late je-ˈsti-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce gesticulate (audio)
gesticulated; gesticulating

intransitive verb

: to make gestures especially when speaking
arguing and gesticulating wildly
gesticulative adjective
gesticulator noun
gesticulatory adjective

Examples of gesticulate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Both actors are committed to the bit, gesticulating wildly and passionately, but the specifics of their performances clash with the movie’s premise. Siddhant Adlakha, Variety, 20 Mar. 2024 One family nearby looked over at the boys, who were gesticulating with such force that water splashed around them. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2024 Octopus tentacles hang from boxes, swordfish heads protrude from tables, vendors gesticulate emphatically. Rosalyn Wikeley, Condé Nast Traveler, 23 Jan. 2024 Trump, sitting at the defense table, scoffed, gesticulated and spoke audibly to his lawyer. Harold Maass, The Week Us, theweek, 18 Jan. 2024 Video footage shows a brief conversation between the duo, hands gesticulating, brows furrowed. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 12 Dec. 2023 The Manchester City manager gesticulated wildly, clapped sarcastically, and hollered at the officials, but nothing seemed to be going right. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2023 Jordan Wolfson’s studio is strangely absent of gesticulating robots. Jessica Simmons-Reid, New York Times, 5 Dec. 2023 The key moment may have been Madsen’s technical foul, which nearly turned into two (and an ejection) before his assistants held back their angrily gesticulating head coach. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Nov. 2023

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

Word History


Latin gesticulatus, past participle of gesticulari, from *gesticulus, diminutive of gestus — see gesture entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1609, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gesticulate was circa 1609

Dictionary Entries Near gesticulate

Cite this Entry

“Gesticulate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


ges·​tic·​u·​late je-ˈstik-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce gesticulate (audio)
gesticulated; gesticulating
: to make gestures especially when speaking

More from Merriam-Webster on gesticulate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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