A salutation is a greeting, whether it's "Dear sir" in a letter or "Hey there!" in person.

  • Pronunciation: / 'sæljʊ'teʃən/
  • English description: (usually plural) an acknowledgment or expression of good will (especially on meeting)
  • Synonyms: greeting
  • Chinese Translation:  问候(wen4 hou4)
  • Spanish Translation: el saludo
  • ORIGIN: The expression "Greetings and salutations!" contains two words meaning pretty much the same thing: A salutation is a form of greeting. In a letter, the salutation is the part that says "To whom it may concern" or "Dear John." When we talk, we give salutations like "hello," "hi there," "hey," and "welcome." Another more formal type of salutation gives honor to others — like a salute.


  • Most people read those standard salutations and cringe, wishing the person had gone a bit further to find someone to address their correspondence to.
  • If you're still opening business letters with this salutation, assume you're offending and turning off at least half your recipients.

*New word description, story and part of "EXAMPLE SENTENCE" are cited in