val·​e·​dic·​to·​ry | \ ˌva-lə-ˈdik-t(ə-)rē How to pronounce valedictory (audio) \

Definition of valedictory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to a valediction : expressing or containing a farewell


plural valedictories

Definition of valedictory (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an address or statement of farewell or leave-taking

Synonyms for valedictory

Synonyms: Adjective

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Valedictory addresses delivered by earnest young valedictorians at high school and college graduations are as much a sign of spring in the United States as baseball games and cookouts. Though we don’t know where the first valedictory address was given, we do know that the word was an institution at some colleges in the U.S. by the mid-1700s. English speakers and writers have also used valedictory in non-academic settings since the mid-1600s. Since a valedictory speech is given at the end of an academic career, it is perfectly in keeping with the meaning of its Latin ancestor, valedicere, which means "to say farewell."

Examples of valedictory in a Sentence

Adjective a valedictory address given by the college president upon his retirement Noun He received a very warm valedictory for his long career.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But those changes didn't hurt Youngkin, who comfortably beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a popular former governor seeking a valedictory term. Brian Slodysko, ajc, 3 Nov. 2021 But those changes didn't hurt Youngkin, who comfortably beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a popular former governor seeking a valedictory term. CBS News, 3 Nov. 2021 But those changes didn’t hurt Youngkin, who comfortably beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a popular former governor seeking a valedictory term., 3 Nov. 2021 In 2017 Ng summarized his vision in a valedictory post on the blogging platform Medium announcing his resignation from the Chinese technology company Baidu. Sue Halpern, The New York Review of Books, 8 Apr. 2021 This shoot, with Vodianova as Farrand, model Karen Elson as her close friend and patron Mildred Bliss, and the actor Aldis Hodge as David Williston, the pioneering Black landscape artist who was Farrand’s peer, has a valedictory air. Chloe Malle, Vogue, 17 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some of us had maintained hope that a great valedictory role would eventually present itself to an actor who so deserved one. Adam Nayman, The New Yorker, 6 Apr. 2022 Two days before Sunday’s equinox, the full moon, beaming through the mist, spoke of a celestial valedictory to winter and a welcome to springtime. Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2022 The fifth, an ideal culmination of everything that came before it, uses this premise as a filter for Adlon’s valedictory meditations on personal history, family bonds, mortality and, above all, the constancy of change. Judy Berman, Time, 28 Feb. 2022 The 1969 Mills College valedictory address mentioned at the review’s beginning initiated my more than half-century of grappling with the complexity of problems like overpopulation, wildlands conservation, and women’s reproductive rights. Anna Louie Sussman, The New York Review of Books, 23 Sep. 2021 Gianopulos sounded a valedictory note in his statement. Brent Lang, Variety, 13 Sep. 2021 That gives it time for at least one more world premiere, an all-Beethoven road show, and a European tour plus an entire valedictory season. Justin Davidson, Vulture, 26 Aug. 2021 His visit to the Bushwick Pool was part of a valedictory tour intended to spruce up his legacy. Hunter Walker, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Joachim Löw, Southgate’s counterpart, was in his valedictory tournament. New York Times, 29 June 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of valedictory


1651, in the meaning defined above


1779, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for valedictory


borrowed from New Latin valedictōrius, from Latin valedic-, alternate stem of vale dīcere, valedīcere "to say goodbye" + -tōrius, adjective suffix (originally derivatives of agent nouns ending in -tōr-, -tor) — more at valediction


noun derivative of valedictory entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Valedictory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of valedictory for Spanish Speakers


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