\ ˈhā How to pronounce hey (audio) \

Definition of hey

1 used especially to call attention or to express interrogation, surprise, or exultation Hey, 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 greeting Hey, 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 something At 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 At every emergence, people become intrigued enough by cicadas to eat them—hey, free source of protein!—and sometimes take their curiosity too far. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 16 June 2021 But hey, what about recognizing a different Apple TV+ comedy as well? BostonGlobe.com, 3 June 2021 John Oliver saying, hey, like 10 Israelis being killed, but one hundred Palestinians are being killed. Jacob Rosen, CBS News, 28 May 2021 But hey, there has been no official confirmation from either party, though another source suggests an announcement is imminent. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 27 May 2021 Now, if your house is in some serious need of odor cleansing (hey, no judgments here), the Smoke Odor Exterminator Candle is literally made for the sole purpose of eliminating odors — not just masking them. Tim Kohut, BGR, 26 May 2021 And hey, even Tom McGovern, the jingle writer from the auditions, returns to give us a recap of season 19. Maggie Fremont, EW.com, 24 May 2021 Part of me will always protest openness in relationships to some degree because, hey it’s in the song now… Isn't that enough? Katie Bain, Billboard, 21 May 2021 And, hey, just plain being out and about on a warm starry night, among people who are actually smiling, softens any rough edges. BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2021

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

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hey. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for hey

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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