Definition of salutation in US English:



  • 1A gesture or utterance made as a greeting or acknowledgment of another's arrival or departure.

    ‘we greeted them but no one returned our salutations’
    ‘he raised his glass in salutation’
    • ‘Asriel comes into the house, Flora greets him in English, and he returns her salutation in Yiddish.’
    • ‘He raised one hand in salutation, welcoming one and all in a melancholy voice.’
    • ‘I find that nothing makes conversation quite so impossible as greetings and salutations.’
    • ‘The man nodded politely to us as they passed and Angus returned the salutation.’
    • ‘Grenada shares a common Caribbean culture base with many other islands in the Lesser Antilles, including music, literature, greetings and salutations, food, and family structure.’
    greeting, salute, address, hail, welcome, toast, tribute, homage, obeisance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A standard formula of words used in a letter to address the person being written to.
      • ‘For example, the undulating pattern of bold word and definition signal a dictionary while the juxtapositioning of date, address and salutation denote a letter.’
      • ‘The email addresses are in the salutation to the letter.’
      • ‘She began the letter with a polite salutation: ‘Your Excellency.’’
      • ‘We would expect the latter to be considerably more personal and informal than the former, and we would probably not expect a love letter to include a formal address and salutation.’
      • ‘At one time the conventional letter salutation employed when writing to a business person whose name was unknown was ‘Dear Sir.’’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin salutatio(n-), from salutare ‘pay one's respects to’ (see salute).