Definition of salaam in English:



  • A common greeting in many Arabic-speaking and Muslim countries.

    • ‘Salaam. How's everything? I wish you luck on your mid-year exams.’
    • ‘But the guy was so calm, I came closer to him and said: Salaam. How are you doing?! He looked at me with his eyes barely opened, smiled, and said in a very faint voice: Fine, Thank Allah for everything!’


  • 1A gesture of greeting or respect typically consisting of a low bow of the head and body with the hand or fingers touching the forehead.

    ‘he greeted me with salaams and repeated cries of welcome’
    • ‘While gray hair and a wrinkled face will get you nothing in the West except a name card from a plastic surgeon or a discounted fare on the city bus, a wai, a salaam, or a bow from the young is always proffered with sincerity.’
    • ‘The poem begins with the customary praise to God and then lists her sorrows and in the end she gives her salaam to everybody.’
    • ‘If you like coffee and you like ice cream, offer a deep salaam to the good people at Healthy Choice.’
    inclination, obeisance, nod, curtsy, bob, salaam, salutation
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    1. 1.1salaams Respectful compliments.
      ‘she had asked him to send me her salaams’
      • ‘Give my salaams to everyone there please? Inshallah we can come back soon. Maybe I'll be able to bring my wife next time.’
      • ‘O Jabir! Allah will keep you alive until his time and you will see him. O Jabir! When you meet him, convey my salaams to him.’


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  • Make a salaam.

    ‘instead of salaaming he spat on the ground’
    • ‘As we drove into the qila's courtyard we saw a crowd of between twenty and 30 retainers massing to greet the rajah, all frantically bowing and salaaming; as Suleiman got out of the car the foremost ones dived to touch his feet.’
    • ‘A week later, bowing and salaaming to me as grateful patients often do, he was discharged with a smile almost as long as the well healed incision on his thigh.’
    • ‘When he had finished he used to pass the plate to me and I would transfer what was left over to my plate: in our tradition that was considered a great privilege and I would salaam profoundly as I did so.’
    • ‘I salaamed to her and, grateful for the chance to catch my breath, eat and make a couple of half-time adjustments in the game plan, walked to my office.’
    • ‘I disagreed with him on a few issues, but I knew that he held those views out of conviction, not because his party required him to salaam before their chosen altars.’
    incline the body, incline the head, make an obeisance, make a bow, nod, curtsy, drop a curtsy, bob, salaam, genuflect, bend the knee, kowtow
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Early 17th century: from Arabic (al-)salām (‘alaikum) ‘peace (be upon you)’.