Definition of hello in English:

hello

(also hallo, hullo)

exclamation

  • 1Used as a greeting or to begin a telephone conversation.

    ‘hello there, Katie!’
    • ‘He was a little surprised since he had already said hello to her that morning.’
    • ‘The next day when Daniel came in, she started the normal conversation of ‘Hello, how are you?’ ‘Fine, and you?’’
    • ‘I haven't seen her in over a year, and yesterday she just strolls casually up to me and says hello!’
    • ‘She whispered hello, then began to make her way to her room, where she hoped to take a nap.’
    • ‘Ric's upset when he finds out that Alf returned from the USA the day before and didn't even say hello!’
    • ‘But instead of a normal greeting like saying hello or something, they hugged.’
    • ‘So Bob, if you are out there, drop in and say hello!’
    • ‘Quentin is surprised to see Maggie, and says hello.’
    • ‘Logan didn't say hello, but I hadn't expected a greeting.’
    • ‘‘Oh, hello,’ she said acting surprised to see the four boys staring at her.’
    • ‘Tlingit people do not use such greetings as hello, good-bye, good afternoon, or good evening.’
    • ‘‘Hullo, hullo!’ the first one exclaimed brightly.’
    • ‘I thought it summed up what I wanted to say and it also is a way to say hello!’
    • ‘If you haven't met Joy yet, pop over to her site and say hello!’
    • ‘‘Oh, hello,’ she'd said to Brett, evidently surprised to see him standing in her kitchen with her daughter.’
    • ‘Ships' horns toot, children wave and call hello, and every morning you're awakened by the haunting call of the muezzin from some distant village mosque.’
    • ‘I was stunned and I said I'm surprised anyone says hello to me ever in the mall or in the store after reading that.’
    • ‘But we had a surprise in store for Caroline when we said hello after the show.’
    • ‘It was a pleasant surprise when Sheila Sheridan came over to say hello.’
    • ‘A man standing in line at the check-out counter of a grocery store was surprised when an attractive woman behind him said hello.’
    1. 1.1British Used to express surprise.
      ‘hello, what's all this then?’
      • ‘My second thought is, hello, it's still snowing!’
      • ‘And hello, what is this and why haven't I heard about it before?’
    2. 1.2 Used as a cry to attract someone's attention.
      ‘‘Hello below!’ he cried’
      • ‘I yelled hello upstairs as I began to head up to see if I could help Mrs. Bishop out.’
    3. 1.3 Used informally to express sarcasm or anger.
      ‘Hello! Did you even get what the play was about?’
      • ‘But as I was saying, so here I am in the library, panicking because the glue stick has just run out - and it's totally bad form to use tape because I mean, hello!’
      • ‘Okay, so maybe costs rose by more than 1% in that period, and maybe sales dropped earlier in the year, but hello!’
      • ‘Excuse him for picking that awful blue hue - I had always told him to let me pick the color to match with his chestnut-blondish hair, but hello!’
      • ‘She must have been really stupid to have mimicked me… I mean, hello!’
      • ‘They sit in classrooms and cannot hear the teachers so, hello, it is no surprise that we are unable to get good outcomes from our education system.’
      • ‘The girl is finding love on the telephone, hello!’
      • ‘You are supposed to be able to keep up with my voice, hello!’
      • ‘Yeah, that might sound totally rude of me to say, but hello!’
      • ‘I mean, not that we have that all the time, coz hello!’
      • ‘Every gathering she beds another partner who isn't her husband, hello!’
      • ‘Umm… hello, the world just ended, everyone seems bizarrely unaffected, like the predicted deep freeze has already reached their brains.’
      • ‘I mean, it's nice in the way he wants to serve my sexual needs, but hello!’
      • ‘But - hello - they're only 15, and they're only playing at being grown up.’
      • ‘She is living a more fortunate life than (most of) you, hello?’
      • ‘She turned down the offer to sing the theme to the TV show… hello!’
      • ‘Like we have time for a life - hello!’
      • ‘I mean - hello - this is just kind of a witty, fun movie.’
      • ‘Over the last two days I have been flooded with porn site IMs… hello!’
      • ‘I have wanted to re-watch it like a DVD or something, but I couldn't because, hello!’
      • ‘My parents are chuckling - I guess more of my reaction than their news, but I mean, hello!’

noun

  • An utterance of ‘hello’; a greeting.

    ‘she was getting polite nods and hellos from people’
    • ‘It wasn't unusual for her to get happy hellos and welcoming grins, but today was different.’
    • ‘Colin Spencer still stood by the desk no one signed in at; and he still smiled and nodded his hellos and goodbyes to every oblivious face that passed him by as though he was host to this year's biggest A-list birthday bash.’
    • ‘We didn't get the chance to get together this visit, but we had nice phone conversation and a waved hello.’
    • ‘After a couple of polite hellos and a social drink, excuses were made and a wave of relief washed over everyone as they shut the car door.’
    • ‘When our paths just crossed, we gave polite hellos and tight-lipped smiles and then continued on our ways.’
    • ‘Instead, she found herself surrounded by well-dressed, accomplished individuals offering English hellos, hot coffee and fresh pastries.’
    • ‘The band members chuckled at me, nodded their hellos, and went back to warming up.’
    • ‘It is extraordinary how much can be achieved when you put enthusiasm into a routine task, a special project or a simple hello or conversation.’
    • ‘Waving polite hellos, I pretended to listen into what was turning out to be a very boring conversation about stocks and bonds.’
    • ‘With little more than a hello, I began to reread the letter that was in my hand.’
    • ‘My local Chinese shop owner always greets me with a big smile and a friendly hello!’
    • ‘Riley slowly made her way to the bar greeting various friends and classmates with smiles and brief hellos.’
    • ‘In the midst of a long round of hellos and goodbyes, the European Commissioner responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries has been in fighting form over all the issues that matter to him.’
    • ‘I received a few sympathetic smiles and polite hellos.’
    • ‘They sauntered past us and nodded their hellos in our general direction.’
    • ‘They nodded their hellos, Lisa heading straight for business.’
    • ‘He half-heartedly nodded his greetings at several gentlemen who'd yelled their hellos to him from across the room, but he was too driven to stop.’
    • ‘He led her to the elevators, nodding hellos to various service people in the lobby.’
    • ‘When their eyes met, she grinned wickedly in an informal hello.’
    • ‘Suddenly I noticed that my hellos in Thai were returned with a wrinkled-up nose and avoidance.’
    greeting, welcome, salutation, saluting, hailing, address, hallo
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • Say or shout ‘hello’

    ‘I pressed the phone button and helloed’
    • ‘After all the helloing and such, he would sit down and talk to me in a gruff, military kind of way.’
    • ‘He halloed me back and set about making some more porridge.’
    • ‘‘Hi Kirsten,’ he helloed, obviously calling me Kirsten on purpose.’

Origin

Early 19th century: variant of earlier hollo; related to holla.

Pronunciation

hello

/hɛˈləʊ//həˈləʊ/