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]
updated on September 25, 2018