Definition of howdy in English:



North American
  • An informal friendly greeting, particularly associated with the western states.

    ‘howdy, stranger’
    • ‘When I was in the area, I'd drop in and say howdy to Aunt Dot and one day, she introduced me to another of the women who volunteered their time in the store.’
    • ‘But if you are patient, the timeless things - a friendly wave, a seat and a howdy at the breakfast counter, the sounds of nothing much happening - can be yours.’
    • ‘As each one arrived, Darren met them at the door with a smile, a howdy and a handshake.’
    • ‘On the way home, I was walking down 7th and happened to glance into a diner as I passed and spotted Erica from work, so I popped in to say howdy.’
    • ‘I went over to Bob, said howdy and then muttered, ‘Uh, there's a guy over here who thinks he can do cartoon voices.’’
    • ‘Jeff says lightly, ‘So do us a favor and go give a howdy to our trucking buddy.’’
    • ‘At a convention though, dozens and dozens of folks I barely know say howdy to me and I start getting them confused with those I do know.’
    • ‘He returned at three, walked past the window and said howdy.’
    • ‘But, the very best gift of all is knowing that I have a dear friend who took time to write and say howdy!’
    • ‘Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.’


Early 19th century: alteration of how d'ye.