beau geste

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Borrowed from French beau geste (beautiful gesture).


beau geste (plural beaux gestes)

  1. A gracious gesture, noble in form but often futile or meaningless in substance.
    • "In a magnificent beau geste, the destroyer, hopelessly trapped, turned as if to flee, threw out a smoke screen, and when the [enemy ship] charged into it, rammed her at flank speed..." --William Manchester, The Last Lion Vol. 2, page 635