Definition of gesticulate in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘After a few minutes, from the official side of the counter, a Lady Officer moved forward and began gesticulating and shouting back.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Goldwater paced back and forth in front of the court in her heels, gesticulating wildly, sometimes nearly shouting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Scolari comes alive during games, always shouting and gesticulating.’
    • ‘With a shirtsleeved Klinsmann gesticulating and shouting encouragement from the technical area, Germany regained the lead in the 17th minute.’
    • ‘He had reportedly run at her, shouting and gesticulating wildly and waving his hand ‘only inches from her face’.’
    • ‘Men around me started shouting in Spanish, gesticulating wildly and pointing.’
    • ‘I sprint into the kitchen and hammer on the window, waving and gesticulating towards the side door.’
    • ‘They surrounded the defenseless woman, shouting at her, gesticulating violently.’
    • ‘By the time I had pulled in to the kerb, these little ‘darlings’ had run off down the road, laughing, shouting and gesticulating.’
    • ‘In public places, Kanaks adopt a discreet and subdued attitude, avoiding excessive speaking or gesticulating, which are considered rude.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the way into central Bucharest our bus-driver seemed overwrought, gesticulating wildly.’
    • ‘Families spread out elaborate picnics and play blind man's buff; everywhere there are people arguing, gesticulating and shouting over each other.’
    • ‘Often this leads to fists being shaken, fingered signs being gesticulated, and harsh words exchanged, as the anguished cry, ‘that was my space!’’
    • ‘At one point I saw before me a weird figure, gesticulating madly and mouthing gibberish.’
    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.