hello Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “hello” in the English Dictionary

"hello" in British English

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helloexclamation, noun

uk   /helˈəʊ/  us   /-ˈoʊ/ (also mainly UK hallo, hullo)
A1 used when ​meeting or ​greeting someone: Hello, Paul. I haven't ​seen you for ​ages. I ​know her ​vaguely - we've ​exchanged hellos a few ​times. I just ​thought I'd ​call by and say hello. And a ​big hello (= ​welcome) to all the ​parents who've come to ​see the show.A1 something that is said at the ​beginning of a ​phoneconversation: "Hello, I'd like some ​information about ​flights to the US, ​please." something that is said to ​attract someone's ​attention: The ​frontdoor was ​open so she ​walked inside and called out, "Hello! Is there anybody in?" informal said to someone who has just said or done something ​stupid, ​especially something that ​shows they are not ​noticing what is ​happening: She ​asked me if I'd just ​arrived and I was like "Hello, I've been here for an ​hour." old-fashioned an ​expression of ​surprise: Hello, this is very ​strange - I ​know that man.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • Cathy ​poked her ​head round the ​door to say hello.
  • When he said hello, I ​felt my ​faceturnbrightred.
  • Hello - could I ​speak to Ann, ​please?
  • After we'd said ​our hellos, it all went ​quiet and nobody ​knew what to do.
  • Oh, hello - what are you doing in here?
(Definition of hello from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"hello" in American English

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helloexclamation, noun [C]

 us   /heˈloʊ, hə-/ (plural hellos)
used when ​meeting or ​greeting someone: "Hello, Paul," she said, "I haven’t ​seen you for ​months." I ​know her ​vaguely – we’ve ​exchanged hellos a few ​times. Come and say hello to my ​friends (= ​meet them). Hello is also said at the ​beginning of a ​telephoneconversation. Hello is also used to ​attract someone’s ​attention: She ​walked into the ​shop and called out, "Hello! Is anybody here?"
(Definition of hello from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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