gesture

noun
ges·ture | \ˈjes-chər, ˈjesh-\

Definition of gesture 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : carriage, bearing

2 : a movement usually of the body or limbs that expresses or emphasizes an idea, sentiment, or attitude raised his hand overhead in a gesture of triumph

3 : the use of motions of the limbs or body as a means of expression

4 : something said or done by way of formality or courtesy, as a symbol or token, or for its effect on the attitudes of others a political gesture to draw popular support— V. L. Parrington

gesture

verb
gestured; gesturing

Definition of gesture (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to make a gesture (see gesture entry 1 sense 2)

transitive verb

: to express or direct by a gesture (see gesture entry 1 sense 2)

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Examples of gesture in a Sentence

Noun

Specific gestures can indicate particular moods. His arm was raised in a gesture of defiance.

Verb

She gestured towards the fireplace. He gestured at his audience. The room was filled with angry people shouting and gesturing. He gestured to his partner to leave.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At a match on June 20, there was a big to-do over the gesture by Albanian players on the Swiss team. Ani Kokobobo, Washington Post, "For Albanians, it’s not just an eagle. Here’s the deeper story those World Cup fines.," 2 July 2018 Thoughtful gestures fill the pages of his correspondence, held in the archives at the New York Public Library. Rebecca Dalzell, Smithsonian, "What Made Oscar Tschirky the King of Gilded Age New York," 25 Apr. 2018 Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany raised Liu’s case directly with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a visit to Beijing this year, a gesture that underscored her opposition to China’s treatment of Liu and her husband, European diplomats said. Jane Perlez, BostonGlobe.com, "Liu Xia, detained widow of Nobel Peace laureate, leaves China," 10 July 2018 From her anti-bullying platform to the aforementioned trip to Houston, Melania’s lackluster gestures at offering herself as a more empathetic White House fixture than her husband have consistently fallen short of any meaningful action. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Melania Trump One-Ups Her Hurricane Stilettos With an “I Really Don’t Care” Jacket, Worn Visiting Children at the Border," 21 June 2018 That's why researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have built a system while allows robots to be corrected through thought and hand gestures. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Humans Can Now Correct Robots With Brainwaves," 20 June 2018 True to form, the Duchess is attentively listening to the Prince with direct eye contact and relaxed hand gestures. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Body Language Experts Analyze Meghan Markle's Relationship With the Royal Family," 15 June 2018 But some observers interpreted it as a gesture of defiance to commentators condemning him for the decision to perform in Russia despite the country's extremely strained relations with the West and, especially, the United Kingdom. Vladimir Kozlov, The Hollywood Reporter, "World Cup: Will Smith to Perform at Closing Ceremony," 12 July 2018 Most often, flowers are a lovely and most appropriate gesture. Southern Living, "Manners in Times of Sorrow: Your Questions Answered," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trump gestured to the car and then a Secret Service agent opened the right passenger door. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Trump shows off 'The Beast' to Kim during historic Singapore summit," 13 June 2018 Instead of celebrating, Palacio gestured an apology to Inter fans. USA TODAY, "Inter ends 2-month winless streak by beating 9-man Bologna," 11 Feb. 2018 Australian filmmaker James Ricketson gestures from inside a prison truck upon his arrival at Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Friday, June 15, 2018. Washington Post, "Start of Cambodian trial of Australian filmmaker delayed," 15 June 2018 Moments before, Pogba had made a beeline for the United supporters to gesture that the recent speculation is just that, and not to listen to anything in the papers. SI.com, "Pep Guardiola Reveals What He Said to Paul Pogba as the Pair Chatted Following Manchester Derby," 8 Apr. 2018 The use of gold in the Middleton coat of arms is said to gesture towards Kate's mother, Carole, whose maiden name is Goldsmith, while red and blue reportedly designate the UK flag. Leah Silverman, Town & Country, "Will Meghan Markle's Family Receive a Coat of Arms Before Her Wedding?," 27 Mar. 2018 The trademark of a Kennedy opinion was a verbal effusion that gestured toward profundity without overcoming confusion. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Abortion is already emerging as a top issue in the midterms with Supreme Court vacancy," 29 June 2018 Khalid Boutaib was flattened by Jose Fonte in an aerial challenge that again had the Moroccans up in arms, with Renard warned for gesturing for the video assistant referee. Martyn Wood, chicagotribune.com, "Ronaldo again leads Portugal to victory against Morocco," 20 June 2018 Imagine Stewart gesturing wildly during the beautiful rant that followed, then mock-storming off stage ... Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Jon Stewart dropped by S.F., but it felt like he’s been here the whole time," 6 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of gesture

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1542, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for gesture

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin gestura mode of action, from Latin gestus, past participle of gerere

Verb

see gesture entry 1

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Learn More about gesture

Phrases Related to gesture

symbolic gesture

Statistics for gesture

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gesture

The first known use of gesture was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for gesture

gesture

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gesture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a movement of your body (especially of your hands and arms) that shows or emphasizes an idea or a feeling

: something said or done to show a particular feeling or attitude

gesture

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gesture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a gesture : to move your hands, arms, etc., to express an idea or feeling

gesture

noun
ges·ture | \ˈjes-chər \

Kids Definition of gesture

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a movement of the body (as the hands and arms) that expresses an idea or a feeling … Tutok rose and made a gesture of farewell.— Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

2 : something said or done that shows a particular feeling He invited her in a gesture of friendship.

gesture

verb
gestured; gesturing

Kids Definition of gesture (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or direct with a gesture I gestured for her to come.

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Comments on gesture

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