American English

Definition of gesture noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ˈdʒɛʃtʃər//
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] a movement that you make with your hands, your head, or your face to show a particular meaning He made a rude gesture at the driver of the other car. She finished what she had to say with a gesture of despair. They communicated entirely by gesture.
  2. 2[countable] something that you do or say to show a particular feeling or intention They sent some flowers as a gesture of sympathy to the parents of the child. It was a nice gesture (= it was kind) to invite his wife too. We do not accept responsibility but we will refund the money as a gesture of goodwill. His speech was at least a gesture toward improving relations between the two countries. The mayor has made a gesture toward public opinion (= has tried to do something that the public will like). Thesaurusactionmeasure step act moveThese are all words for a thing that someone does.action a thing that someone does:Her quick action saved the child's life.measure an official action that is done in order to achieve a particular aim:The government introduced tougher security measures last summer.step one of a series of things that you do in order to achieve something:This work is a first step towards our eventual goal.act a thing that someone does:an act of kindnessaction or act?These two words have the same meaning but are used in different patterns. An act is usually followed by of and/or used with an adjective. Action is not usually used with of but is often used with his, her, etc.:a heroic act of bravery a heroic action of bravery her heroic actions/acts during the war.Action often combines with take but act does not:We will take whatever action is necessary. We will take whatever acts are necessary.move (used especially in journalism) an action that you do or need to do to achieve something:They are waiting for the results of the opinion polls before deciding their next move.Patterns to take action/measures/steps to make a move a heroic/brave/daring action/step/act/move
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: gesture

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