Definition of gesture in English:

gesture

noun

  • 1A movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning.

    ‘Alex made a gesture of apology’
    ‘so much is conveyed by gesture’
    • ‘Glaring after the departing man, Cael flicked a rude gesture in his direction.’
    • ‘His body language and facial gestures suggested he loathed his colleague.’
    • ‘As they approached the lower window, Tracy made a gesture to Erin to move to the side away from the window.’
    • ‘She exclaimed, making shooing gestures with her arms.’
    • ‘Chimps communicate with each other through a complex and subtle system of vocalisations, facial expressions, body postures and gestures.’
    • ‘So what do their expressions, hand gestures, body movements and speech say about what they're really thinking and feeling?’
    • ‘Marcus reciprocated the farewell gesture by slightly nodding his head and slowly blinking his large, intelligent eyes.’
    • ‘The two boys exchange ideas through gestures, words, and drawing.’
    • ‘This is accompanied by a thumbs-up gesture which is a simple but effective way of getting the children to respond to and interact with the teacher.’
    • ‘Those quick hand gestures and body movements betray a restless energy and a need for variety and originality.’
    • ‘Will sighed and turned around slowly, holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender.’
    • ‘His gestures and movements are excessively self-aware in postures of cool and defiance, and for this very reason betray the emotions and vulnerability beneath.’
    • ‘His movements and gestures are natural and his stage presence is electric.’
    • ‘He closed his blue eyes and spread his hands out in a gesture of surrender.’
    • ‘These same gestures and movements, even the very words themselves, have been repeated and revived over many generations in that precise place.’
    • ‘He made a number of rude gestures in their direction and shouted obscenities at them.’
    • ‘It is important that a dancer have a good facility, but they need to be able convey dramatic ideas, use dramatic gestures, and communicate feelings on stage.’
    • ‘It has to do with attitude or spirit, which is reflected in speech patterns and facial expressions, hand gestures and overall body movement.’
    • ‘Her transformation from spectator to spectacle is signified repetitively by the gesture of removing her glasses.’
    • ‘They capture the gestures of the human body in all its pity and rapture, pain and pleasure.’
    signal, signalling, sign, signing, motion, motioning, wave, indication, gesticulation
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    1. 1.1 An action performed to convey one's feelings or intentions.
      ‘Maggie was touched by the kind gesture’
      • ‘My friendly gestures were returned with stubborn silence.’
      • ‘Throwing the amp in the canal could be a symbolic gesture, representing the idea that I was getting rid of all the stuff I didn't really need anymore.’
      • ‘Moreover, we appreciate the magnanimous gesture of the Minister of Sports for apologising in the larger interest of cricket.’
      • ‘They were engaged in work, play activities, fights or gestures of friendship.’
      • ‘She remembers other gestures of goodwill, including an Italian who took it upon himself to cook lunch for the farmer and his family while they were at church.’
      • ‘I broke away from Andrew suddenly, in a liberating gesture of defiance.’
      • ‘Theirs is a harmless daydream, an ultimately mild gesture of defiance against conformity.’
      • ‘Not all public gestures of affection and loyalty need to be quite so extravagant.’
      • ‘In a gesture of goodwill, a 24-hour internet cafe and a finance company in Edinburgh have offered US citizens free internet access to contact their loved ones.’
      • ‘Their acceptance of Lydia is total and is signified by a gesture of affection from his mother.’
      • ‘Making goodwill gestures only arouses suspicion and creates the appearance of weakness.’
      • ‘Sometimes, youngsters convey through their simple gestures what many adults can never express in a thousand words.’
      • ‘Given her special circumstances, it says, it is prepared as a gesture of goodwill to fund the costs of the operation, which are about £10,000.’
      • ‘I just received the October issue and appreciate your kind gesture in sending us extra copies.’
      • ‘To be frank, this was the most heartening gesture of solidarity I heard.’
      • ‘Security Ministry officials called it a gesture of national reconciliation and said that more releases would follow.’
      • ‘As a goodwill gesture, I took several sports writers out for a meal Thursday.’
      • ‘It is refunding you the £34.31, and adding £100 as a gesture of goodwill.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, their neighbor didn't appreciate the kind gesture… and she sued.’
      • ‘He accepted the book and kissed it, using an Eastern gesture of respect toward the givers.’
      action, deed, act, move
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    2. 1.2 An action performed for show in the knowledge that it will have no effect.
      ‘I hope the amendment will not be just a gesture’
      • ‘Most of the time, it will merely be a gesture of principle, with no practical effect.’
      • ‘At first he still enjoyed the sheen of effective public gestures.’
      • ‘Although some have not fully embraced open source, these sometimes small, token gestures offer us a wealth of knowledge.’
      • ‘A Department of Justice spokesperson rejected suggestions the move was a political gesture which would prove unrealistic when challenged.’
      • ‘He denied the move was a political gesture.’
      • ‘That G8 leaders are now making gestures of this sort betrays their knowledge that the game is up for world summitry that does not command world support.’
      • ‘There was no indication that these paltry and tardy gestures have had any effect in dampening the mass protest movement.’
      • ‘However, the seeming pointlessness of the gesture is the key to its ironic effect and the reason why it enjoys a kinship with Ferry's work.’
      • ‘Above all a political gesture and propaganda exercise, the charter had less effect on American isolationists than hoped.’
      • ‘I must admit that I agonised a bit about this because I felt it was a small gesture that would have little effect and give more pleasure to the person sending the card than the recipient.’
      • ‘Labor's intention to retain the regional council structures and consult Indigenous people over the replacement body is a gesture.’
      • ‘He said local roads in the area would have to be improved and upgraded as a gesture to the people who would be effected.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Make a gesture.

    ‘she gestured meaningfully with the pistol’
    • ‘Then he lifted his chin, gesturing back over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Gavin kicked her leg under the table, gesturing to their glaring father meaningfully.’
    • ‘He gestured disgustedly toward Michael with one hand.’
    • ‘‘I really like your scarf’ he said, gesturing to the bandana on my head, a simple black one that I wear more often than not.’
    • ‘He paused, then gestured expansively towards the audience.’
    • ‘The kid gestured with his left arm, the shotgun still in his right.’
    • ‘Olivia gestured vaguely in the direction of the candy and Isabella took off, striding purposefully.’
    • ‘He was talking about something with Dad and Jeremy, gesturing wildly with his free hand.’
    • ‘I gestured to the pile of unopened trunks at the foot of my bed.’
    • ‘"Take your pick, kid ", said the Major gesturing around the room.’
    • ‘The big man gestured with a thumb over his shoulder.’
    • ‘Edwards, as nearly as I can tell, never utters a word without one or more hands gesturing in some significant, word-intensifying manner.’
    • ‘Wayne, his blurred hand gesturing with a cigarette, was looking off to the side, mouthing something.’
    • ‘He gestured back to the door that I had just come through.’
    • ‘I couldn't find any words to say, and instead gestured helplessly.’
    • ‘He gestured wildly with one hand as he spoke, trying to get his point across.’
    • ‘Sir Ralph gestured to a nearby chair and waited until his daughter was seated.’
    • ‘He leaned forward from the back seat so he could gesture emphatically in front of the gear shift.’
    • ‘‘I feel completely settled here,’ she says, gesturing to the corners of the room.’
    • ‘‘No need to pay,’ he said, gesturing at the tables and chairs, ‘this is my home.’’
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial or infinitive Direct or invite (someone) to move somewhere specified.
      ‘he gestured her to a chair’
      • ‘Sean came to a small door, and opened it, gesturing her inside.’
      • ‘The man returned the salute and gestured him towards the desk in the center of the room.’
      • ‘He tugged gently on her hand and gestured her back along the corridor.’
      • ‘She took it out and pointed it at him and curled it to gesture him to come towards her.’
      • ‘He gestured his other two men to take up position behind another table.’
      • ‘Belarus gestured his squad forward, and began to target each of the downed drones and automated turrets.’
      • ‘He walked over to his two companions, gesturing them to follow him over to the girl.’
      • ‘The man stopped at one door among the many, opening it and gesturing the detective inside with a nod of his head.’
      • ‘Flanked by the member of team A - 2, he gestured them onward with a sweep of his arm.’
      • ‘He turned to the person in the corner of the pub and gestured him over.’
      • ‘Jing nodded without a single word and gestured Gloria to continue what she had to say.’
      • ‘She quietly took a step forward, before gesturing the class to come closer.’
      • ‘Yet when the train settles against the platform and the passengers disembark I actually find myself politely gesturing him to board ahead of me.’
      • ‘When they both finally arrive, she gestured them to sit down beside her.’
      • ‘A servant in voluminous green robes ducked her head in an abbreviated bow and gestured them into the house.’
      • ‘She gestured me towards a screened-off area behind the check-in desk.’
      • ‘As they moved from the bridge, they gestured us to follow.’
      • ‘Paloma gestured Helen to hide herself, while she turned away and headed toward south.’
      • ‘Jasmine gestured him toward the sofa, then settled across from him in the opposite chair.’
      • ‘Rachelle waved her cousin away as he gestured her to the backyard, where the party was happening.’
      signal, make a gesture, make a sign, give a sign, sign, motion, wave, indicate, gesticulate
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Express (something) with a gesture or gestures.
      ‘he gestured his dissent at this’
      • ‘I gestured my permission and then started to weep, remembering their occasional father.’
      • ‘Unable to comment on the fishing fiasco, they just gestured a weary resignation at yet another fine mess.’
      • ‘Suddenly, one of the borders raises his fingers to Gregor, gesturing his observance of the large bug in his presence.’
      • ‘Then, for good measure, I also gestured gratitude in the mirror when in front of him.’
      • ‘I said this, even using my hands to gesture my sincerity.’
      • ‘After each jump, she gestured her thanks, the intensity at once gone, the smile as blazing as the grimness a moment before.’
      • ‘It was broken up by a blooper to right by Jason Giambi, to whom Boomer gestured thanks immediately afterwards.’
      • ‘Jim shook his head again, gesturing his helplessness with both hands.’
      • ‘I rested my right hand on her thigh and squeezed it, gesturing a thank you for calming me down.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin gestura, from Latin gerere ‘bear, wield, perform’. The original sense was ‘bearing, deportment’, hence ‘the use of posture and bodily movements for effect in oratory’.

Pronunciation

gesture

/ˈdʒɛstʃər//ˈjesCHər/