Definitions

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

  • interj. Used to express farewell.
  • n. A farewell.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • interj. Said to wish a fond farewell; good-bye.
  • n. A farewell, a goodbye; especially a fond farewell, or a lasting or permanent farewell.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. Good-by; farewell; an expression of kind wishes at parting.
  • n. A farewell; commendation to the care of God at parting.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Literally, to God, an ellipsis for I commend you to God: an expression of kind wishes at the parting of friends, equivalent to farewell; hence, a parting salutation in general: as, adieu to my hopes.
  • Synonyms Adieu, Farewell, Good-by. These words have completely lost their original meanings. In use the difference between them is only one of formality, good-by being the most common, and adieu the most formal. By the Society of Friends (and perhaps some other sects) farewell is preferred, as not involving the careless mention of the name of God. In strict propriety, farewell is a parting salutation to persons going away.
  • n. adieus or (in French spelling) adieux (a-dū z′ , ȧ-dyė′ ). A farewell or commendation to the care of God: as, an everlasting adieu; to make one's adieus.

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

  • n. a farewell remark

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French a dieu, (I commend you) to God : a, to (from Latin ad; see ad-) + Dieu, God (from Latin deus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English adieu also adew, adewe, adue, from Old French adieu ("to God"), a shortening of a Dieu vous comant ("I commend you to God"), from Latin ad ("to") + deus ("God") (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • She waved him an adieu from the window, and stood there for a moment looking out after he was gone.(online dictionary)

    September 23, 2010