\ 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 (Phoenix)"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

Synonyms for hey


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Examples of hey in a Sentence

hey, I won the lottery!
Recent Examples on the Web Now is the perfect time to plan that last-minute getaway (hey, treat yourself!). Annie O’sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 3 Aug. 2022 But hey, it’s August, and who needs another screed? BostonGlobe.com, 3 Aug. 2022 Attending a near-stranger's funeral promises to be both deeply awkward and geographically inconvenient, but hey, the story possibilities! Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 29 July 2022 But hey, at least Jack googles Preacher's counselor Barry and eventually invites him to come to the bar. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 20 July 2022 Or, hey, maybe even something with Cameron and Muriel. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 19 July 2022 And, hey, if Samson is right, who could blame them? Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 And, hey, look at Joc Pederson getting a rare start against a lefty. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 July 2022 But hey, the Jazz thought clean and simple was the way to go. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near hey



hey cockalorum

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Statistics for hey

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hey. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for hey


\ ˈhā How to pronounce hey (audio) \

Kids Definition of hey

used to call attention or to express surprise or joy

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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