\ ˈhā How to pronounce hey (audio) \

Definition of hey

1 used especially to call attention or to express interrogation, surprise, or exultationHey, Tigs, the '80s are over, man. Time to lose that orange Mohawk.The Arizona Republic"Hey Rob," growls Russ [Winfield, designer], picking a potato off the back seat. "What are these doing back here?"— Katherine SilbergerGlenn Miller… said he was forming a band and asked if I was interested in joining. I thought, "Hey, this may not be bad. …"— Tex Beneke
2 used as an informal greetingHey, how's it going?"Hey, professor," a man in a worn overcoat says to Wilson, extending a calloused hand… "Hey, man," Wilson says, meeting his grip.— Samuel G. Freedman
3 used to indicate that one is not bothered or troubled by somethingAt his worst, he is corny and silly, but hey, the pleasure he gives is worth the price.— Gretchen GarnerMy way [of kneading] is to press the heel of my hand down into the dough, push it away and then bring it back down against the work surface. You can do it with one hand or two. (I've noticed that some like to follow this up by just throwing the dough, with force and from about chest or shoulder height, down onto the work surface. Hey, whatever works for you.)— Nigella Lawson

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Synonyms for hey


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Examples of hey in a Sentence

hey, I won the lottery!
Recent Examples on the Web Don't need workers retirement savings, but hey - why let a crisis go to waste. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The government says you can now invest your 401(k) in private equity. Be very afraid," 19 June 2020 But, hey, that's just the view from inside the baseball bubble. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "MLB's billionaires are playing their own game. We have bigger things to care about," 17 June 2020 The net effect is to reassure the user implicitly that, hey, this stuff is easy—there's no reason to be intimidated. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Linux distro review: System76’s Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS," 11 June 2020 Your daily shower is supposed to be a small break from the day’s busy schedule, perfect for resetting your mind, body, and soul—hey, why not?—with just a wash of warm water. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "This Self-Cleaning Shower Head Fixed My Low Water Pressure In Seconds," 12 June 2020 But hey, trailers for PC games like Wasteland 3, Mortal Shell, The Waylanders, Chivalry 2, and more. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "IGN Summer Gaming Expo kicks off with trailers for Mortal Shell, Wasteland 3, and more," 10 June 2020 This gorgeous brasserie in Brickell is as lovely for a power lunch as a lingering multi-course feast of oysters, pasta, and grilled seafood with a bottle or two of rosé (Hey, why not?) Something not accurate? Condé Nast Traveler, "Marion," 25 Aug. 2017 But hey, New Orleans is only a coastal city lying below sea level in a state that loses a football field of land to the encroaching Gulf of Mexico every 100 minutes, so no need for urgency. Michael Stein, New Republic, "Democrats Deserve Better Than Mitch Landrieu," 24 Aug. 2017 But hey, your colon's health is far too important to neglect. Jenn Morson, SELF, "7 Things You've Always Wondered About a Colonoscopy Procedure," 23 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hey.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hey

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hey

Middle English

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Time Traveler for hey

Time Traveler

The first known use of hey was in the 13th century

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Statistics for hey

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hey. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for hey

How to pronounce hey (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hey

used to attract someone's attention or to express surprise, joy, or anger
used to indicate that something is not important, that you are not upset about something, etc.
\ ˈhā How to pronounce hey (audio) \

Kids Definition of hey

used to call attention or to express surprise or joy

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More from Merriam-Webster on hey

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hey

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hey

Spanish Central: Translation of hey

Nglish: Translation of hey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hey for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hey

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