Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Formal or authoritative permission to depart.
  • n. An abrupt dismissal.
  • n. A leave-taking.
  • n. A formal bow.
  • n. Architecture A concave molding.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of taking leave; parting ceremony; farewell; also, dismissal.
  • n. The customary act of civility on any occasion; a bow or a courtesy.
  • n. An apophyge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Leave; permission or leave to depart; dismissal: as, the ambassador received his congé: same as, and now commonly used (as distinctly French) in place of, congee.
  • n. In architecture, same as apophyge.

Etymologies

Middle English conge and French congé, both from Old French congie, from Latin commeātus, from past participle of commeāre, to come and go : com-, com- + meāre, to go; see mei-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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