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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Synonyms for gesture

Synonyms: Noun

gesticulation, mime, pantomime, sign, signal

Synonyms: Verb

beckon, flag, motion, signal, wave

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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

And to say just a tiny bit more, McClaren is also an old friend of Kavinsky and just so happens to share his penchant for grand romantic gestures. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before," 27 Nov. 2018 Not much has changed with either: the trackpad is still responsive and great for Windows-specific gestures, while the fingerprint reader complements the IR camera to give users two Windows Hello biometric authentication options. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "HP Elitebook x360 1030 review: Small tweaks made to a stylish work 2-in-1," 16 Nov. 2018 The real problem is a green unwillingness to forgo shiny, meretricious plaudits for fake gestures in place of patiently laying the groundwork for something that might actually have some value. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Electric Cars and Media Explained," 6 Nov. 2018 Eventually, Gilleland was able to track down Chelsey and personally thank her for the gesture. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Hurricane Florence evacuee in South Carolina finds surprising handwritten note on windshield," 18 Sep. 2018 And it can be opened with a wave of the hand with silly gesture controls. Robert Duffer, chicagotribune.com, "Review: 2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake is no family truckster," 9 July 2018 One image showed safety Malcolm Jenkins raising his fist in protest, but didn’t mention the reason for the gesture — to draw attention to racial injustice and mistreatment of minorities by law enforcement. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "Eagles players Zach Ertz, Chris Long rip Fox News over misleading segment on national anthem protests," 5 June 2018 Did Kim, a third-generation heredity leader, think Mr. Trump would share his love for lavish gestures and things grandiose? CBS News, "Pushing the envelope? Kim Jong Un's massive letter to Trump," 2 June 2018 Did Kim, a third-generation hereditary leader, think Trump would share his love for lavish gestures and things grandiose? Kim Tong-hyung, The Seattle Times, "Pushing the envelope: Why was Kim’s letter for Trump so big?," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who had been conducting services when the shots rang out, gestured at the white Star of David posted for each victim. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trumps pay tribute at synagogue where 11 were fatally shot," 31 Oct. 2018 Rachel tells me over breakfast one morning, gesturing to her red tea-length Ganni wrap dress with black leopard spots. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 Nine months before these Winter Olympics commenced in his native country, Jim Paek stood on a stage halfway around the world, speaking into a lavalier microphone and gesturing with a presentation remote. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Ex-NHLers Jim Paek and Richard Park Take Pride in Growth of Korean Olympic Efforts," 13 Feb. 2018 The 1904-5 oil-on-canvas painting depicts an attenuated male figure gesturing with his right hand. Graham Bowley, New York Times, "Judge Dismisses Suit Seeking Picasso Painting From the Met," 7 Feb. 2018 The 29-year-old appeared to gesture directly towards the Chelsea fans behind the goal, having put his side in front from the spot in the first-half. SI.com, "REVEALED: The Reason Watford Striker Troy Deeney Put Up Middle Finger After Scoring Against Chelsea," 6 Feb. 2018 Whitley exited his start on Thursday after throwing 17 pitches in the first inning, gesturing to his left side when a trainer met him on the mound. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' prospect Forrest Whitley headed to disabled list," 10 July 2018 Several drivers who were able to squeeze by honked and gestured in solidarity. Marissa J. Lang, chicagotribune.com, "More than 500 arrested as women rally in D.C. to protest Trump's immigration policy," 28 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for gesture

Last Updated

2 Dec 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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