sal·​u·​ta·​tion | \ˌsal-yə-ˈtā-shən \

Definition of salutation 

1a : an expression of greeting, goodwill, or courtesy by word, gesture, or ceremony

b salutations plural : regards

2 : the word or phrase of greeting (such as Gentlemen or Dear Sir or Madam) that conventionally comes immediately before the body of a letter

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Other Words from salutation

salutational \ ˌsal-​yə-​ˈtā-​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for salutation


greeting, hello, salute, welcome


adieu, bon voyage, congé (also congee), farewell, Godspeed, good-bye (or good-by)

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Examples of salutation in a Sentence

A handshake and saying “hello” are common salutations. Shaking hands is a form of salutation.

Recent Examples on the Web

On July Fourth, Twitter lit up with 19th-century style letters beginning with salutations like these after a conspiracy theorist’s outlandish prediction of a second American Civil War became fodder for jokes across the political spectrum. Jennie Neufeld, Vox, "#SecondCivilWar: how a wild conspiracy theory became a July 4th Twitter meme," 5 July 2018 For instance, when writing an old-fashioned letter, salutations were important, especially in professional settings. Jennifer Winward, Anchorage Daily News, "Five old-school skills that kids should learn from their grandparents instead of YouTube," 26 June 2018 Teens should use these respectful salutations when asking for a letter of recommendation, when thanking someone for an interview, or when communicating with a professor, teacher or adviser. Jennifer Winward, Anchorage Daily News, "Five old-school skills that kids should learn from their grandparents instead of YouTube," 26 June 2018 Celebrate the sun and stretch your yoga practice with 108 sun salutations on the Anchorage Museum lawn. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "Celebrating summer solstice: Here are parties and events around Alaska," 21 June 2018 BOSTON COMMON Free Summer Yoga Unfurl your yoga mat near the Frog Pond for some sun salutations in the park., "Summer guide: Things to do around Boston and Cambridge," 2 June 2018 Every morning, do a sun salutation (video at to promote flexibility and balance. Houston Chronicle, "10 steps to protect your heart, brain and body from disease and premature aging," 20 May 2018 In the near future, people will probably just use the technology for the things Google demonstrated onstage: Filling in addresses and quick salutations. Madeline Buxton,, "Gmail Is Going To Help Us Write Our Emails — Is That A Good Thing?," 11 May 2018 Family Yoga in the Park, 10 a.m. Sunday, Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Road, Be one with nature through some sun salutations at the Nature Center at Holliday Park. Susie Schmank, Indianapolis Star, "14 best things to do to celebrate Earth Day 2018," 18 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salutation.' 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 salutation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of salutation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of salutation

: a word or phrase (such as “Gentlemen,” “Dear Sir,” “Dear Madam,” or “To whom it may concern”) that is used to begin a letter

: the act of greeting someone


sal·​u·​ta·​tion | \ˌsal-yə-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of salutation

1 : an act or action of greeting

2 : a word or phrase used as a greeting at the beginning of a letter

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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