What does salutation mean? You’re about to find out!
Quick Vocab Quiz for the word salutation
First, before you read the explanation, definition, and discussion of the word salutation, try this quick vocab quiz:
salutation most nearly means
(A) change (B) query (C) likeness (D) greeting (E) direction
Part of Speech: NOUN
Pronunciations: IPA: /sæl.yə.ˈteɪ.ʃən/ Glossary-style: [sahl-yuh-TAY-shuhn]
Definition: a greeting or an expression of goodwill (Ex: “Hello!” is a common example of a salutation in English.). an act of greeting or welcoming. the title or honorific in one’s name, such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., Dr., and the like.
Give it to me straight: salutation, of course, is related to the word salute, which is a verb that means to greet someone or show respect to someone. So a salutation is a greeting that we can say when we see someone. Common salutations in English include “Good morning!”, the simple “hello” or even “Hey!”. Even “How are you?” can be considered a salutation since English speakers generally ask how someone is to greet rather than to inquire about someone’s emotional state.
A salutation can also be the formal title or honorific appended to someone’s name, such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., etc.
On a related note, the word salutation is ultimately related to the Latin salut, which, as you may know, means health. What’s the connection? In many cultures and languages, it is common to wish good health to someone as an expression of goodwill. Nice, isn’t it?
Example: Dour, reserved, reticent, and somewhat misanthropic, Dudley was not inclined to issue salutations to his friends or family members when he saw them; he never wished people a good morning (even when it was a beautiful day), nor did he greet his friends warmly.