Definition of gesticulate in English:



[no object]
  • Use gestures, especially dramatic ones, instead of speaking or to emphasize one's words.

    ‘they were shouting and gesticulating frantically at drivers who did not slow down’
    • ‘Men around me started shouting in Spanish, gesticulating wildly and pointing.’
    • ‘At one point I saw before me a weird figure, gesticulating madly and mouthing gibberish.’
    • ‘By the time I had pulled in to the kerb, these little ‘darlings’ had run off down the road, laughing, shouting and gesticulating.’
    • ‘In order to make yourself clear, you might be forced into a mime show, gesticulating and posturing dramatically so as to convey your meaning.’
    • ‘It was actually quite entertaining to watch grown men and women gesticulating and waving their arms around violently in an archaic tongue.’
    • ‘They surrounded the defenseless woman, shouting at her, gesticulating violently.’
    • ‘As I near Belfast I realise that my job will become more difficult near Banbridge; drivers may gesticulate back to me either with their thumb or middle finger.’
    • ‘On the way into central Bucharest our bus-driver seemed overwrought, gesticulating wildly.’
    • ‘As I arrive breathless at the bottom of the gorge, my companion, who is considerably ahead of me, begins to gesticulate frantically.’
    • ‘The cover, a thin card folder, shows a bearded man gesticulating at traffic from the pavement.’
    • ‘I sprint into the kitchen and hammer on the window, waving and gesticulating towards the side door.’
    • ‘I watched her walk to the gate and stand there for at least 5 minutes, then a woman walked over and let her in and stood waving and gesticulating at her in a angry manner.’
    • ‘In public places, Kanaks adopt a discreet and subdued attitude, avoiding excessive speaking or gesticulating, which are considered rude.’
    • ‘After a few minutes, from the official side of the counter, a Lady Officer moved forward and began gesticulating and shouting back.’
    • ‘With a shirtsleeved Klinsmann gesticulating and shouting encouragement from the technical area, Germany regained the lead in the 17th minute.’
    • ‘Often this leads to fists being shaken, fingered signs being gesticulated, and harsh words exchanged, as the anguished cry, ‘that was my space!’’
    • ‘Families spread out elaborate picnics and play blind man's buff; everywhere there are people arguing, gesticulating and shouting over each other.’
    • ‘Scolari comes alive during games, always shouting and gesticulating.’
    • ‘He had reportedly run at her, shouting and gesticulating wildly and waving his hand ‘only inches from her face’.’
    • ‘Goldwater paced back and forth in front of the court in her heels, gesticulating wildly, sometimes nearly shouting.’
    gesture, make gestures, signal, make signals, sign, motion, wave
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from Latin gesticulat- ‘gesticulated’, from the verb gesticulari, from gesticulus, diminutive of gestus ‘action’.