c. 1600, "position, situation; disposition of the several parts of anything with respect to one another or a particular purpose," especially of the body, "pose," from French posture (16c.), from Italian postura "position, posture," from Latin positura "position, station," from postulus from past participle stem of ponere "to put, place" (see position (n.)). The figurative sense of "a state of being or attitude in relation to circumstances" is from 1640s. Related: Postural.
1620s, transitive, "to place, set," from posture (n.). Intransitive sense of "assume a particular posture of the body, dispose the body in a particular attitude" is by 1851 (at first in reference to contortionists). The figurative sense of "take up an artificial position of the mind or character" (hence "display affectation") is attested by 1877. Related: Postured; posturing.
1660s, "posture or position of a figure in a statue or painting," via French attitude (17c.), from Italian attitudine "disposition, posture," also "aptness, promptitude," from Late Latin aptitudinem (nominative aptitudo; see aptitude, which is its doublet).
Originally 17c. a technical term in art; later generalized to "a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state" (1725). Sense of "a settled behavior reflecting feeling or opinion" is by 1837. Meaning "habitual mode of regarding" is short for attitude of mind (1757). Connotations of "antagonistic and uncooperative" developed by 1962 in slang.
Attitude is generally studied for the sake of looking graceful ; hence it is sometimes affected, the practice of it being then called attitudinizing. An attitude is often taken intentionally for the purpose of imitation or exemplification ; generally attitude is more artistic than posture. [Century Dictionary]
"stoppage of circulation," 1745, from medical Latin, from Greek stasis "a standing still, a standing; the posture of standing; a position, a point of the compass; position, state, or condition of anything;" also "a party, a company, a sect," especially one for seditious purposes; related to statos "placed," verbal adjective of histēmi "cause to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm."
"posture and manner assumed by sick persons lying in bed," 1866, Modern Latin, from past participle of Latin decumbere "to lie down," from de "down" (see de-) + -cumbere "take a reclining position," related to cubare "lie down" (see cubicle). Sometimes also "a bed-sore." Related: Decubital, decubitation (1660s as "action of lying down").
early 15c., reclinen, transitive, "cause to lean backward or downwards (on something); lay (something) down," from Old French recliner "rest, lay; bend, lean over" (13c.) and directly from Latin reclinare "to bend back, to lean back; cause to lean," from re- "back, against" (see re-) + clinare "to bend" (from PIE *klein-, suffixed form of root *klei- "to lean"). The intransitive sense of "rest in a recumbent posture" is from 1590s. Related: Reclined; reclining.
Recline is always as strong as lean, and generally stronger, indicating a more completely recumbent position, and approaching lie. [Century Dictionary]
As a companion noun, reclination "action, posture, etc. of reclining" (1570s, from Late Latin reclinationem) seem not to have caught on.
early 15c., from Latin gesticulationem (nominative gesticulatio), noun of action from past participle stem of gesticulari "to gesture, mimic," from gesticulus "a mimicking gesture," diminutive of gestus "a gesture; carriage, posture," noun use of past participle of gerere "to bear, to carry" (see gest).
[G]esticulation is the using of gestures, & a gesture is an act of gesticulation. On the other hand, gesture also is sometimes used as an abstract, & then differs from gesticulation in implying less of the excited or emotional or theatrical or conspicuous. [Fowler]