American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- interj. Used to express farewell.
- n. A farewell.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Literally, to God, an ellipsis for I commend you to God: an expression of kind wishes at the parting of friends, equivalent to farewell; hence, a parting salutation in general: as, adieu to my hopes.
- Synonyms Adieu, Farewell, Good-by. These words have completely lost their original meanings. In use the difference between them is only one of formality, good-by being the most common, and adieu the most formal. By the Society of Friends (and perhaps some other sects) farewell is preferred, as not involving the careless mention of the name of God. In strict propriety, farewell is a parting salutation to persons going away.
- n. adieus or (in French spelling) adieux (a-dū z′ , ȧ-dyė′ ). A farewell or commendation to the care of God: as, an everlasting adieu; to make one's adieus.
- interj. Said to wish a fond farewell; good-bye.
- n. A farewell, a goodbye; especially a fond farewell, or a lasting or permanent farewell.
GNU Webster's 1913
- interj. Good-by; farewell; an expression of kind wishes at parting.
- n. A farewell; commendation to the care of God at parting.
- n. a farewell remark
- From Middle English adieu also adew, adewe, adue, from Old French adieu ("to God"), a shortening of a Dieu vous comant ("I commend you to God"), from Latin ad ("to") + deus ("God") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French a dieu, (I commend you) to God : a, to (from Latin ad; see ad-) + Dieu, God (from Latin deus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Perhaps it would be best to call it adieu, fest up and join his great grandchildren, as he openly admits, someone closer to him has fervently suggested.”
“Perhaps when you have read my history, the dreadful word adieu --”
“In the evening the enthusiasts bade an adieu, which is likely to be an eternal one, to their hosts, and returned to St. Petersburg, sadder, but wiser by the loss of an illusion.”
“Alas! the adieu was a final one, for I never saw him afterwards; and within three short weeks of my marriage, I was a widow again!”
The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures, and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army. In Which Is Given Full Descriptions of the Numerous Battles in which She Participated as a Confederate Officer; of Her Perilous Performances as a Spy, as a Bearer of Despatches, as a Secret-Service Agent, and as a Blockade-Runner; of Her Adventures Behind the Scenes at Washington, including the Bond Swindle; of her Career as a Bounty and Substitute Broker in New York; of Her Travels in Europe and South America; Her Mining Adventures on the Pacific Slope; Her Residence among the Mormons; Her Love Affairs, Courtships, Marriages, &c., &c.
“There are even some liberals who argue that Quebec should be allowed to say "adieu" to the Canadian Confederation.”
“I must bid "adieu" although I am an atheist, go figure! to you, mon ami.”
“whole pack in full cry" of the Roman children running by the side and calling adieu to dear Tante Lise.”
“Upon arriving in Georgia she was led to enjoy the contrast between the snow-clad hills of New England, to which she had bidden "adieu" a few days previous, and the mild atmosphere of a hitherto untried latitude.”
“If it is a clear, cold night, the clicking of their wooden shoes may be heard for some time; but if it is damp weather, the sound is stifled, and after a few moments the faint echo of an "adieu" or Christmas greeting is all that can be heard around the church as the beadle closes it.”
“Surreptitiously wiping my eyes and swallowing the sobs in my throat, I held out the baby to its mother and began to say a halting "adieu" to all of them.”
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