Definition of hello in English:


Line breaks: hello
Pronunciation: /həˈləʊ
, hɛ-/
(also hallo or hullo)


1Used as a greeting or to begin a telephone conversation: hello there, Katie!
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  • Tlingit people do not use such greetings as hello, good-bye, good afternoon, or good evening.
  • But instead of a normal greeting like saying hello or something, they hugged.
  • I thought it summed up what I wanted to say and it also is a way to say hello!
1.1British Used to express surprise: hello, what’s all this then?
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  • My second thought is, hello, it's still snowing!
  • And hello, what is this and why haven't I heard about it before?
1.2Used as a cry to attract someone’s attention: ‘Hello below!’ he cried
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  • I yelled hello upstairs as I began to head up to see if I could help Mrs. Bishop out.
1.3Used informally to express sarcasm or anger: Hello! Did you even get what the play was about?
More example sentences
  • They sit in classrooms and cannot hear the teachers so, hello, it is no surprise that we are unable to get good outcomes from our education system.
  • She turned down the offer to sing the theme to the TV show… hello!
  • I have wanted to re-watch it like a DVD or something, but I couldn't because, hello!

noun (plural hellos)

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An utterance of ‘hello’; a greeting: she was getting polite nods and hellos from people
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  • They sauntered past us and nodded their hellos in our general direction.
  • After a couple of polite hellos and a social drink, excuses were made and a wave of relief washed over everyone as they shut the car door.
  • Colin Spencer still stood by the desk no one signed in at; and he still smiled and nodded his hellos and goodbyes to every oblivious face that passed him by as though he was host to this year's biggest A-list birthday bash.

verb (helloes, helloing, helloed)

[no object] Back to top  
Say or shout ‘hello’: I pressed the phone button and helloed
More example sentences
  • ‘Hi Kirsten,’ he helloed, obviously calling me Kirsten on purpose.
  • He halloed me back and set about making some more porridge.
  • After all the helloing and such, he would sit down and talk to me in a gruff, military kind of way.


late 19th century: variant of earlier hollo; related to holla.

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