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’
    • ‘The man nodded politely to us as they passed and Angus returned the salutation.’
    • ‘I find that nothing makes conversation quite so impossible as greetings and salutations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.
      • ‘At one time the conventional letter salutation employed when writing to a business person whose name was unknown was ‘Dear Sir.’’
      • ‘She began the letter with a polite salutation: ‘Your Excellency.’’
      • ‘The email addresses are in the salutation to the letter.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For example, the undulating pattern of bold word and definition signal a dictionary while the juxtapositioning of date, address and salutation denote a letter.’


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