- a movement or position of the hand, arm, body, head, or face that is expressive of an idea, opinion, emotion, etc.: the gestures of an orator; a threatening gesture.
- the use of such movements to express thought, emotion, etc.
- any action, courtesy, communication, etc., intended for effect or as a formality; considered expression; demonstration: a gesture of friendship.
- Digital Technology. a particular movement of the body, typically the fingers or hand, used to control or interact with a digital device (often used attributively): a gesture command; Use a two-finger pinching gesture on your touchscreen to zoom in or out.
verb (used without object), ges·tured, ges·tur·ing.
- to make or use a gesture or gestures.
verb (used with object), ges·tured, ges·tur·ing.
- to express by a gesture or gestures.
- a motion of the hands, head, or body to emphasize an idea or emotion, esp while speaking
- something said or done as a formality or as an indication of intentiona political gesture
- obsolete the manner in which a person bears himself; posture
- to express by or make gestures; gesticulate
early 15c., “manner of carrying the body,” from Medieval Latin gestura “bearing, behavior,” from Latin gestus “gesture, carriage, posture” (see gest). Restricted sense of “a movement of the body or a part of it” is from 1550s; figurative sense of “action undertaken in good will to express feeling” is from 1916.
1540s, from gesture (n.). Related: Gestured; gesturing.