Definition of goodbye in English:


(US goodby)


  • Used to express good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation.

    • ‘Myra and Jo were dropped off at a city centre hairdressers after kissing Toni goodbye.’
    • ‘We say goodbye, demanding that each other look after ourselves and the best of luck.’
    • ‘As they came up to the glass sliding doors quite a crowd of boys waved goodbye.’
    • ‘It was now time to say goodbye, an emotional moment with promises of returning soon.’
    • ‘We parted ways shortly before noon and under a brilliant, sunny sky we said goodbye.’
    • ‘Papa remained stoic for the most part, but sounded rather choked when he wished me goodbye.’
    • ‘She left Alfie again, then called from Paris to say goodbye: she was not coming back.’
    • ‘At the end we hugged and kissed each other goodbye, and he gave me his new address and email, and promised to be in touch.’
    • ‘The family didn't make it in time to say goodbye, but we know she was in excellent hands.’
    • ‘He walked me back towards my hotel when I was due to meet Roger and he gave me a quick peck on the cheek to say goodbye.’
    • ‘We go to say goodbye, and instead of a handshake I get not one kiss, but two.’
    • ‘Belinda is just thinking about going home when Kevin comes up and hugs her goodbye.’
    • ‘I'll go over for a few hours, have dinner with Mama and Papa, wish them goodbye and all that.’
    • ‘But as he was saying goodbye, alarm came over his face as he looked back over my shoulder.’
    • ‘One of the trains began to set off so my three-year-old son started to wave goodbye.’
    • ‘Jan, Eve and Penelope were all ready for the off as we went to say goodbye.’
    • ‘We got along really well, and it would have been fine, but he kissed me goodbye.’
    • ‘As I left for the airport, my daughter ran alongside the taxi and we waved goodbye.’
    • ‘After we had waved everyone goodbye, the Gamekeeper wandered in to confer about concrete.’
    farewell, adieu
    View synonyms


  • An instance of saying ‘goodbye’; a parting.

    ‘we said our goodbyes and set off’
    • ‘Claudie says her final goodbyes before she jets off on her mission of a lifetime into space.’
    • ‘We said our goodbyes and I promised we'd come visit again next time we were in town.’
    • ‘Spare a thought for all those wives, husbands and children who this weekend will be saying their goodbyes.’
    • ‘I think he realised quite quickly that I wasn't really interested because he said his goodbyes and left us.’
    • ‘What fun it was interviewing them as they politely wished me a last goodbye and headed for the hills.’
    • ‘Then when our car finally came - the rest of the kids shouted their goodbyes and sped off on their bikes.’
    • ‘We arrived at the railway station on perfect time and said our goodbyes.’
    • ‘With a sudden jerk the we move forward, a few tears are shed, hands wave final goodbyes in a mad frenzy.’
    • ‘We drank together and then, after that, we took a picture, and said our goodbyes.’
    • ‘So I said my final goodbyes to the cook and then left the house at a fast walk, not turning around once.’
    • ‘Then we said our goodbyes, but not before I'd wangled an opening night ticket out of him for Saturday Night Fever.’
    • ‘He was soaked and was in search of a cup of tea and some hot grub, so Anna took him to Bressigarth tea room, and they said their goodbyes.’
    • ‘I had to dash off for a meeting, so the goodbyes were fairly truncated, and got back to the office to find my Korean agenda in my inbox.’
    • ‘Thankyous and goodbyes were proudly presented and before we all knew it, everyone was back on the bus.’
    • ‘The couple went to the airport where they said their final heartbreaking goodbyes to each other.’
    • ‘No extended goodbyes from our little dog, no without even looking back she jumped in the back of the car to say hello to her boyfriend.’
    • ‘Of course he would prefer to be paid and if a good and salaried job was offered elsewhere, he would say sad goodbyes and move on.’
    • ‘Saying what are likely to be final goodbyes is something else again.’
    • ‘As she came to each sailor, she wished them a simple goodbye, not bearing the strength to say more.’
    • ‘We've seen it in all its glory, we took pictures of it when it was on fire and are now here to say our last goodbyes to the ship.’


Late 16th century: contraction of God be with you!, with good substituted on the pattern of phrases such as good morning.