Definition of hello in English:

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Pronunciation: /həˈləʊ/
Pronunciation: /hɛˈləʊ/
(also hallo or hullo)


1Used as a greeting or to begin a telephone conversation: hello there, Katie!
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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)

An utterance of ‘hello’; a greeting: she was getting polite nods and hellos from people
More example sentences
  • 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]
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.


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

  • This, like hallo (mid 16th century) a form found well into the 20th century and still common in the policeman's ‘'Allo, 'Allo, 'Allo’, is a variant of the earlier word hollo (early 16th century) and halloo (mid 16th century). They all come from cries used to urge on hunting dogs, and keep in touch will others in the field. Holler (late 17th century) is yet another form, now mainly found in the USA. Compare cooee

Words that rhyme with hello

aglow, ago, alow, although, apropos, art nouveau, Bamako, Bardot, beau, Beaujolais Nouveau, below, bestow, blow, bo, Boileau, bons mots, Bordeaux, Bow, bravo, bro, cachepot, cheerio, Coe, crow, Defoe, de trop, doe, doh, dos-à-dos, do-si-do, dough, dzo, Flo, floe, flow, foe, foreknow, foreshow, forgo, Foucault, froe, glow, go, good-oh, go-slow, grow, gung-ho, Heathrow, heave-ho, heigh-ho, ho, hoe, ho-ho, jo, Joe, kayo, know, lo, low, maillot, malapropos, Marceau, mho, Miró, mo, Mohs, Monroe, mot, mow, Munro, no, Noh, no-show, oh, oho, outgo, outgrow, owe, Perrault, pho, po, Poe, pro, quid pro quo, reshow, righto, roe, Rouault, row, Rowe, sew, shew, show, sloe, slow, snow, so, soh, sow, status quo, stow, Stowe, strow, tally-ho, though, throw, tic-tac-toe, to-and-fro, toe, touch-and-go, tow, trow, undergo, undersow, voe, whacko, whoa, wo, woe, Xuzhou, yo, yo-ho-ho, Zhengzhou, Zhou

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