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

  • interj. Used to greet someone, answer the telephone, or express surprise.
  • n. A calling or greeting of "hello.”
  • intransitive v. To call "hello.”

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. A greeting (salutation) said when meeting someone or acknowledging someone’s arrival or presence.
  • interj. A greeting used when answering the telephone.
  • interj. A call for response if it is not clear if anyone is present or listening, or if a telephone conversation may have been disconnected.
  • interj. Used sarcastically to imply that the person addressed or referred to has done something the speaker or writer considers to be foolish.
  • interj. An expression of puzzlement or discovery.
  • n. "Hello!" or an equivalent greeting.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. An exclamation used as a greeting, to call attention, as an exclamation of surprise, or to encourage one. This variant of halloo and holloo has become the dominant form. In the United States, it is the most common greeting used in answering a telephone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An exclamation designed to attract the attention of a person at a distance; also, a mere greeting between persons meeting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an expression of greeting


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

Alteration of hallo, alteration of obsolete holla, stop!, perhaps from Old French hola : ho, ho! + la, there (from Latin illāc, that way).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Hello (first attested in 1846) from hallo (attested 1840), from holla, hollo (attested 1588). This variant of hallo is often credited to Thomas Edison as a coinage for telephone use, but its appearance in print predates the invention of the telephone by several decades.


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    October 13, 2018

  • Aa- look it up it's a real word ;)

    September 20, 2017

  • Hello coffin.

    Hello conscientious tin.

    Hello alienation!

    Hello animosity!

    Murderous wildebeest simplified nonsense. You can do it too. Am I not right?

    Could you say hello to a....?

    Hello glove!


    Hello strangely plague!

    Here's Mr. Quarkabe's careful amputee.

    Hi Mr. Quarkabe!

    Hi atheoretical amputee.

    What a sensual sea?

    Goodbye Mr. Quarkabe; you need an angering amputee!

    January 12, 2013

  • is it me you're looking for?

    March 12, 2011

  • limbo-o?

    February 14, 2011

  • Keshi - hello in zuni

    June 15, 2009

  • hola

    June 15, 2009

  • See here.

    In any case, Online Etymology Dictionary suggests:

    "1883, alt. of hallo (1840), itself an alt. of holla, hollo, a shout to attract attention, first recorded 1588. Perhaps from holla! 'stop, cease'."

    June 15, 2009

  • Please tell me this is fake.

    June 15, 2009

  • Exactly what I meant. So, is it?

    December 2, 2008

  • Aarrggh, I've been leg-pulled!

    December 1, 2008

  • I think arcadia was asking if the linguistic theory I linked to is true, ie. that "the first two syllables in a conversation will generally not be understood".

    December 1, 2008

  • what?

    December 1, 2008

  • ...mably what?

    December 1, 2008

  • Presumably 'actual' in the sense of 'current'.

    December 1, 2008

  • ...actual what?

    December 1, 2008

  • Is this actual?

    December 1, 2008

  • Supposedly, there is a 'good' reason for saying hello.

    December 1, 2008

  • "is that guy... *hello*?

    December 7, 2006