What’s the opposite of salutation? What do you call that the greeting at the end of a letter/email?

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What is the antonym of salutation?

This is totally random, but today I was trying to tell someone how I failed to end the email properly.  Immediately, what popped into my head was “salutation” which of course means: “a word or phrase serving as the prefatory greeting in a letter or speech.”  As you can see, it is how we start the letter vs. ending the letter.

So, what do we call the greeting at the end before your signature? I googled it and what comes up is what proves to me there is a loooooooooooooong way to go with creating content on the Internet (or imperfect Search Engine Optimization [SEO]).  I typed in “antonym salutation” and got this page with so much advertising on the page, I couldn’t see the answer initially.”  WikiAnswers is good at SEO and as a result, they are the first result in the SERP (search engine results page), but for the person who’s looking, they’re not really getting what they want if the result is all about advertising or has financial goals that outweigh one of the more ideal purposes of the Internet.  It’s one of the reasons why I do like Google (even though their avoidance of providing customer service is quite bad).

If you can filter through all the junk, you can see the answer to the question is “valediction.”  Valediction is defined as: “A word or phrase of farewell used to end a letter or message.” A bit too much for trying to find something quite simple, but oh well…


Filed under Business practices, Interesting..., Random thoughts, Search Engine Management, SEM, Word Usage

21 responses to “What’s the opposite of salutation? What do you call that the greeting at the end of a letter/email?

  1. Very nice post, thanks!!!

  2. Diana

    Thanks!! very helpful

  3. varshitha

    its very helpful.i wanna give u a small suggetion that can u give the list of words u could find in the website.so that we would be thankful

  4. varshitha

    its very helpful.i wanna give u a small suggesion that can u give the list of words u could find in the website.so that we would be thankful

  5. Mary

    No kidding! My search took forever to come up with valediction also. Sounds even more “formal” than salutation.
    Are they the final (only) words for the start and end of a letter?

  6. Lambert Lorette

    Hi, thanks for the post…I was using valediction extensively in an essay I was
    writing, but eventually gave it up, and replaced it with “farewell”. Oddly, the
    meaning of salutation is commonly known, but I realized that if I used valediction
    almost no one would know what I meant, or at the very least, would feel uncomfortable with the word. The usage frequency of valediction must be very
    very low…Cheers, L

  7. RMW

    Very cool research…

  8. Chris

    Thank you, I was wondering that myself.

  9. Rob

    Makes sense. I expected it would be “valutation” (to no avail).

    Comes from Latin, I would guess

    Salve (equivalent of ‘hi’) -> salutation
    Vale (equivalent of ‘bye’) -> valediction

  10. I Googled “opposite of salutation” to find your blog post. Thanks for making it easy for me to find the answer to this question:)


  11. Dee

    THANK YOU! I have been searching and digging for the past hour, trying to discover the antonym for salutation, only to discover actual commonly used valedictions! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  12. Michael

    duckduckgo is Google without the ads.

  13. LR

    In correspondence, it’s also known as the “complimentary closing” of the letter.
    just an old elementary student of the 1950s.

  14. Kenneth

    I had just asked the same question, although in the time since you wrote this blog post, your blog was the first listing that came up when I Googled the same search terms.

  15. Mark

    Salutation: Good day, greetings
    Valediction: Good night, Farewells

  16. Peter Cook

    I must say that the post itself takes quite a while to get to the point. Farewell, closing, complimentary closing are valid less formal alternatives. 🙂

  17. Bee

    Thank you for this 🙂

  18. Blackie

    must be something better and less formal than valediction !

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