From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishgestureges‧ture1 /ˈdʒestʃə $ -ər/ ●●○ noun 1 [countable, uncountable]SIGN/GESTURE a movement of part of your body, especially your hands or head, to show what you mean or how you feelin a ... gesture (of something) Jim raised his hands in a despairing gesture. Luke made an obscene gesture with his finger.gesture of She shook her head with a gesture of impatience.2 [countable]SIGN/GESTUREFRIENDLY something that you say or do, often something small, to show how you feel about someone or something They decided it would be a nice gesture to send her a card. Tearing up the price list was simply a symbolic gesture.gesture of As a gesture of goodwill, we have decided to waive the charges on this occasion.gesture towards The Queen has now made a gesture towards public opinion. —gestural adjectiveCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: a movement of part of your body, especially your hands or head, to show what you mean or how you feeladjectivesa rude gestureLuke made a rude gesture with his finger.an obscene gesture (=extremely rude)The player was fined for making an obscene gesture at the referee.an angry/threatening gestureOne of the men made a threatening gesture, and I ran.verbsmake a gestureHe made a gesture of annoyance. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: something that you say or do, often something small, to show how you feel about someone or somethingadjectivesa nice gestureIt would be a nice gesture if we gave them something to say 'thank you'.a generous gestureHe had made a very generous gesture to the school.a friendly gestureElla bought him a drink as a friendly gesture.a grand gesture (=something you do to make people notice you)Love is not about grand gestures and expensive gifts.a dramatic gestureIn politics, dramatic gestures are sometimes necessary.a bold gesture (=something you do that shows you are not scared of taking risks)Appointing one of his opponents to the government was seen as a bold gesture of reconciliation.a symbolic gesture (=something you do that shows people how you feel)In a symbolic gesture, he renounced his $10,000 monthly presidential salary.an empty gesture (=something you do that does not achieve anything important)The president's attempt at negotiation was an empty gesture which failed to satisfy his critics.a token gesture (=something you do so that you can pretend that you are dealing with a problem)The inclusion of just one woman on the committee was seen as a token gesture.a conciliatory gesture (=something you do to stop someone from arguing with you)The government made several conciliatory gestures to the protestors.phrasesa gesture of goodwill (=something you do to show you want to be helpful)As a gesture of goodwill, customers will be offered a full refund.a gesture of friendshipHe invited the two men to his house as a gesture of friendship.a gesture of supportShe wrote a letter to the prime minister as a gesture of support.a gesture of solidarity (=something you do to show loyalty and support)People sent food parcels to the strikers as a gesture of solidarity.a gesture of defiance (=something done to show that you will not do what someone tells you to do)The rebels launched an attack as a gesture of defiance.make a gesture towards somebody/something (=do something to show that you have some respect for someone or something)The drinks industry has made a gesture towards reducing alcohol misuse by setting up a research group.
Examples from the Corpusgesture• Instead, he patted the man's arm once in a gesture of thanks.• The visit was a goodwill gesture to Raychem, which employs 1,300 people at its sites in Dorcan and Cheney Manor.• Her gestures were emphatic but, from a distance, did not appear threatening or abusive.• Someone in another car started making gestures and pointing at our tires.• Words take second place to nonverbal cues, personal mannerisms, gestures, expressions, and overall appearance.• The flowers were really a nice gesture.• The fight started when one of the fans made a rude gesture at a player.• These relatively complex communicative demands establish the conditions in which simple gestures, such as pointing, are particularly useful.• It was one of their gestures, he supposed.• Mrs Bay was speaking loudly, flailing her arms in wild gestures.in a ... gesture (of something)• In a rare public gesture of support, Clinton personally escorted Fujimori to his waiting limousine.• Eline rushed over and hugged Carys in an uncharacteristic gesture of affection.• These relatively complex communicative demands establish the conditions in which simple gestures, such as pointing, are particularly useful.• Twenty minutes later he returned, shaking his head in a universal gesture.• The horses were watching him and raised their large heads in a gesture of horse-interest.• Augusta resumed her pacing, throwing her hands outward in little distracted gestures.• With arms and hands constantly raised in gesture and emphasis, he pleads with viewers not to forget the edges.• Last year, in a symbolic gesture, he introduced a 20p tax band.nice gesture• Nice gesture, Cameron, she thought.• She said payment was not necessary but perhaps a gift of twenty-one rupees would be a nice gesture.• Either way I thought it a nice gesture, and when I next caught his eye I smiled.• It was a nice gesture to wipe the cup.gesturegesture2 ●○○ verb [intransitive] SIGN/GESTUREPOINT ATto move your hand, arm, or head to tell someone something, or show them what you meangesture to/towards/at Brad gestured towards the door. ‘Get out.’gesture for somebody to do something He gestured for her to take a seat.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusgesture• I watched his movements, the hands gesturing.• "Please sit down, " said Winters, gesturing at the chair facing his own.• Sorrow warred with anger in his voice, and he gestured briskly with his muscular hands.• Members of the Illinois delegation jumped up and began gesturing for McGovern to get off the platform, making thumbs-down motions.• Auster opened the door wider and gestured for Quinn to enter the apartment.• I turned to see a large policeman gesturing for us to move along.• He answered, and she pushed the door wide, and gestured him in after her.• Celia began listing their recent purchases and gestured proudly to the fountain.• He gestured toward her sister, toward the right, toward life.• Paul gestured towards the biggest muntjac suspended from the carrying pole and made an elaborate gesture of donation.• Their voices were faint at this distance, but they could be seen gesturing towards the company.• The man was gesturing wildly, but we couldn't understand what he wanted.gesture to/towards/at• The descriptions, far from gesturing to an external or subjective reality, merely affirm their own status as verbally constructed artefacts.• Unfolding my wretched map, I used gestures to ask them to indicate our location.• So often as parents, 121 we see our children gesturing towards doing something.• The mock-Stealer gestured at her snout clad in syn-skin.• Under these circumstances at least a gesture towards listening to the local people has been made.• A necessary gesture to moisten the dryness in her throat.• A sense of rebellion, a gesture towards the exit.Origin gesture1 (1400-1500) Medieval Latin gestura, from Latin gestus “action, gesture”, from gerere “to bear”