English Verbs of Body Movement

Here are 25 verbs which describe the movements you can make with your body.


wink = when you close one eye quickly (often when you want to show you’re saying something untrue or funny)
“He winked at her and she knew that he was only joking.”

blink = when you close both eyes quickly (often if the light is too bright)
“He took off his glasses and blinked in the strong sunlight.”


smile = make your mouth wide to show friendliness or because you find something funny
“She smiled at his joke.”

bite (bite / bit / bitten) = use your teeth to break something
“She bit into the apple.”

kiss = put your lips together and push them out against someone else’s skin / lips (as a sign of love or affection)
“She kissed her aunt on her cheek.”

swallow = make something (like food) go down your throat
“Drink some water to help you swallow the aspirin.”

sip = drink very small amounts at a time
“He sipped his coffee as it was very hot.”

lick = use your tongue (to eat something)
“The cat licked its paws.”

blow (blow / blew / blown) = make air come out of your mouth
“She blew on her fingers to try to keep them warm.”

whistle = put your lips together and make a tune as you blow out air
“He always whistles when he’s concentrating on something.”

hum = sing (but without the words) with your mouth closed
“He hummed a little song as he drove to work.”

Hands / Fingers

wave = when you move your hand (or hands) in the air to attract attention or to say goodbye
“I’m over here!” she cried, as she waved her hands in the air.

stroke = use long movements of your hand down someone’s skin (or an animal’s fur)
“She stroked the cat as it sat on her lap.”

tickle = lightly touch someone to make them laugh (because their skin is sensitive)
“She tickled the baby’s feet.”

pat = touch someone or something lightly with your open hand
“She patted the child gently on his arm and told him not to worry.”

slap = use your open hand to hit someone or something
“He slapped at the mosquitoes.”

punch = use your closed hand (fist) to hit someone or something
“When he won the match he punched his fist into the air in victory.”

rip = tear something using both hands
“He read the letter then ripped it up.”

scratch = use your nails on something
“He scratched the insect bite on his arm.”

grab = take something quickly with your hand
“There was only one sandwich left on the plate and she grabbed it before her brother could get it.”

flick = move something small away from you using your thumb and middle finger
“She flicked away the bug which was moving towards her.”

Legs and feet

tap = move your feet to the beat of music
“He tapped his feet as he listened to the dance music.”

kick = use your feet to make something move
“The little boy kicked the stones at his feet.”

limp = walk with difficulty because your leg or foot is injured
“He fell off his bicycle and limped home.”

paddle = walk in the sea with bare feet (but still wearing trousers, etc)
“The water was too cold for swimming, so they just paddled in the sea for a few minutes.”

Body Movement Quiz

Choose the correct answer.

1. Don't __ your finger at people. It's rude!
2. She was so tired that she couldn't stop __
3. That man over there is __ at you. Do you know him?
4. As soon as he smelled the flowers he started __
5. You shouldn't __ in someone's face. Cover your mouth with your hand.
6. She often __ when she eats bread.
7. My cat is so cute and soft that I can't resist __ him.
8. He __ on a piece of food.
9. It's really hard not to __ a mosquito bite.
10. Ever since the accident she finds it difficult to walk. In fact, she __ quite badly.

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