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namah in Sanskrit means 'to salute'.

'te' means 'to you'.

In Sankrit, more than one words are often joined together to form one big word which infact may be a sentence in itself. This is known as sandhi.

'Namaste' is one such word, it is 'namah' +' te' = 'I salute you.' or 'I offer my respect to you'

Although generally acceptable and expected, the gesture of 'Namaste' (as explained in w/us above) may or maynot accompany the utterance of 'Namaste'. The gesture of pressing two palms together is a gesture of respect that can be used with any respectful word, or just by itself. Most common use of this gesture is while paying your respect to Gods, for example, in a temple.