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What word would mean "a grand, symbolic action" more specifically, taken in an attempt to prove a point?
For example, I am trying to figure out the word that would fill in the following sentence using the above definition:

"Charlie gave every last dime he had to charity, just to prove that he didn't care about material possessions. That's one hell of a [word-for-grand-symbolic-action]!"

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Here, you have asked two different questions. Please be clear what exactly you want to ask.. –  Sweet72 Sep 28 '13 at 20:00
    
@Sweet72 - I have edited the question to make it a little more clear. Basically, I want to know what word, using that definition would fit in that sentence –  Ephraim Sep 28 '13 at 20:05
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Thanks for the edit –  Sweet72 Sep 28 '13 at 20:11
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The gift of the signet ring to Mordecai by Ashuerus was an impressive gesture of the honor in which he was held.

Because there's are negative connotation to expressions such as gesture politics, you probably need some kind of positive qualifier for this sense ("impressive" in my example, "one hell of a" in OP's).

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also 'grand gesture'--though with connotations of a fumbling protagonist in a bad rom-com –  Merk Sep 29 '13 at 10:05
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Here, we can reach for a French "coup de something" term.

A brilliantly successful action, or something of that sort, is a coup d’éclat.

If we fit this into

"Charlie gave every last dime he had to charity, just to prove that he didn't care about material possessions. That's one hell of a coup d’éclat!"

it seems to work, more or less.

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That's a new one on me! It's vanishingly rare compared to coup d’état, and hasn't been much used for the last couple of centuries, but it does seem to fit the bill. –  FumbleFingers Sep 29 '13 at 0:23
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