gesture Definition

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

Using gesture: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "gesture" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    She made a gesture of apology.

  • Example

    He gestured towards the door.

  • Example

    The teacher used gestures to help the students understand the lesson.

  • Example

    The politician's gestures were interpreted as insincere.

gesture Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for gesture

Idioms Using gesture

  • a gesture of defiance

    an action that shows you are not willing to obey or accept someone or something


    She raised her fist in a gesture of defiance.

  • an action that shows you want to be friendly with someone


    He offered his hand in a gesture of friendship.

  • an action that shows support for a cause or group of people


    The protesters raised their fists in a gesture of solidarity.

Phrases with gesture

  • empty gesture

    an action that is done to show that you are doing something but that has no real effect or value


    The company's donation was seen as an empty gesture.

  • a large or impressive action that is done to show how much you care about someone or something


    He made a grand gesture of love by proposing to her in front of a crowd.

  • an action that is done to show that you want to be friendly and helpful


    The company's gesture of goodwill was to offer free services to the community.

Origins of gesture

from Latin 'gestus', meaning 'action, gesture'


Summary: gesture in Brief

The term 'gesture' [ˈdʒestʃər] refers to a movement of the body, often a hand or head, to express an idea or meaning. It can be used to convey apologies, directions, or emotions, as in 'She made a gesture of apology.' 'Gesture' also appears in phrases like 'empty gesture,' indicating an action with no real effect, and idioms like 'a gesture of defiance,' showing a refusal to obey or accept something.

How do native speakers use this expression?