Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A gracious gesture.
  • n. A gesture noble in form but meaningless in substance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A gracious gesture, noble in form but often futile or meaningless in substance.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a gracious (but usually meaningless) gesture

Etymologies

French : beau, noble + geste, gesture.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French beau ("beautiful") + geste ("gesture") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • William Boyd’s beau geste in making a guest appearance in the picture pleased DeMille enormously, and he gave Boyd an autographed picture of the two men in his dressing room.

    Empire of Dreams

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