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to signal, summon, or direct by a gesture of the head or hand.
to lure; entice.
a nod, gesture, etc., that signals, directs, summons, indicates agreement, or the like.
Contemporary Examples

She beckoned to them, gesturing as if she were going to give them a treat.
Hitler’s Killer Women Revealed in New History Wendy Lower October 5, 2013

On the other hand, I’d come in an iron lung with snow tires if Jon Stewart beckoned.
Requiem for a Tough Guy Kurt Andersen June 2, 2009

During the course of the party, Charles Monteith, one of the Faber board, beckoned me out into the hall.
Sylvia Plath’s Darkest Sea: What an Unveiled Draft Poem Reveals Olivia Cole May 2, 2013

Samaras saw me and, to the chagrin of security, beckoned me just before the start.
Antonis Samaras: New Greek Prime Minister and Predecessor Share College Ties Jim Warren June 18, 2012

Last week Emanuel was beckoned to head an existing but lagging effort.
Rahm Emanuel Up Against a Teacher’s Strike James Warren September 9, 2012

Historical Examples

He beckoned to Mr. Weller and said, in a stern voice, “Take his skates off!”
Recitations for the Social Circle James Clarence Harvey

Fouts, with a slip of paper in his hand, beckoned him from the door of his private office.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

She beckoned to me, however, and I made haste to follow her.
Adventures among Books Andrew Lang

When, five minutes later, she beckoned him from the door of the barn, her eyes were red.
K Mary Roberts Rinehart

Nasmyth beckoned to Laura and moved forward with Gordon, and Wheeler, who carried the battery.
The Greater Power Harold Bindloss

to summon with a gesture of the hand or head
to entice or lure
a summoning gesture

Old English gebecnian (West Saxon beacnian) “to make a mute sign,” derivative of beacen “a sign, beacon,” from Proto-Germanic *bauknjan (cf. Old Saxon boknian, Old High German bouhnen), from PIE root *bha- “to shine” (see beacon). Related: Beckoned; beckoning. The noun is attested from 1718, from the verb.


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