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kinesics Syllabification: ki·ne·sics
Pronunciation: /kəˈnēsiks/ /-ziks/

Definition of kinesics in English:

plural noun

[usually treated as singular]
1The study of the way in which certain body movements and gestures serve as a form of nonverbal communication.
Example sentences
  • Other kinds of human communication [besides speech] are sometimes called language: body language, or kinesics, is one example.
  • This was unfortunate as it narrowed the scope of the potential field, separating kinesics from much that was of interest to mainstream anthropology.
  • After conducting fieldwork together in New Guinea, Bateson and Mead coproduced ethnographic films and photodocumentation of Balinese kinesics.
1.1 [usually treated as plural] Certain body movements and gestures regarded as a form of nonverbal communication.
Example sentences
  • Mr. O was showing and acknowledging a greater affective range, both verbally and in his kinesics.
  • The anatomical characteristics of a person have a definite bearing on our perception of his or her kinesics.


1950s: from Greek kinēsis 'motion' (from kinein 'to move') + -ics.

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