token gesture

(redirected from gesture)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

token gesture

an action or a decision that is so small or inconsequential as to be only symbolic. Offering to pay for my dinner was only a token gesture. That does little to make up for my inconvenience.
See also: token
References in classic literature ?
The former was seated on the end of a mossy log, in a posture that permitted him to heighten the effect of his earnest language, by the calm but expressive gestures of an Indian engaged in debate.
But Whiskey Dick, guiltily attributing the movement to his own indiscreet gesture, said, "Excuse me, miss," recovered himself by lightly dusting her shoulder with his handkerchief, as if to remove the impression, and her smile returned.
she said, resuming her mask; and she went away, forbidding him, with a gesture, to follow her.
Then, having eaten those that he gave her, she would often search his pockets with gestures that had all the mechanical velocity of a monkey's motions.
The aged rakishness of his appearance was set off by a youthful costume; he had disreputable grey hair and a disreputable sore, red nose; but the coat and the gesture, the outworks of the man, were still designed for show.
For a moment I was staggered, though the import of his gesture was plain enough.
Then as the steps drew near, she became silent for fear of being heard, applying, with a gesture of infinite terror, her beautiful hand to Felton's mouth.
Well, then, it is but fair that you should be paid for your loss of time and trouble," said the count; and he made a gesture of polite dismissal.
A look in the eyes of a shipmate, a low murmur in the most sheltered spot where the watch on duty are huddled together, a meaning moan from one to the other with a glance at the windward sky, a sigh of weariness, a gesture of disgust passing into the keeping of the great wind, become part and parcel of the gale.
Some help themselves with countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the other down to his chin; Respondes, altero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso supercilio, crudelitatem tibi non placere.
His manner made his answer quite plain, and the girl threw back her head with a sudden gesture.
It was, then, not without surprise and alarm, that at the very moment when Quasimodo was passing the Pillar House, in that semi-intoxicated state, a man was seen to dart from the crowd, and to tear from his hands, with a gesture of anger, his crosier of gilded wood, the emblem of his mock popeship.
With an emphatic gesture he held his nose and whistled through his teeth.
He was convinced by this touch that he was present, as a spectator, without delirium's dreadful aid, the day after the battle fought upon the shores of Gigelli by the army of the expedition, which he had seen leave the coast of France and disappear upon the dim horizon, and of which he had saluted with thought and gesture the last cannon-shot fired by the duke as a signal of farewell to his country.
he said, pointing to the portrait with a graceful gesture.