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What term is used for the closing of a letter?

You use a greeting when you need to open communication with someone, but is there a word for when you need to close communication?

for example,

note a / indicates a physical action (not just spoken words):

Greetings:  Hey, Hi, /salute, /wave, etc.

   ????  : Bye, See ya, /wave, etc.
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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Apr 20 '12 at 18:01

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

maybe a Leaving? – edthethird Apr 20 '12 at 16:59
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is a host of words for this:

goodbye, farewell, leave-taking, adieu, arrivederci, au revoir, sayonara

cornbread sums them up all in valediction.

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I'll upvote this one rather than cornbread's. You've both given the "correct" word (valediction). But if, for example, I was at a party with my partner, and I wanted to leave, I'd probably say "We need to say our goodbyes" - so your first alternative matches my idea of the best word in common parlance. That's for "in-person" contexts - I'd just call the words written at the end of an item of correspondence the sign-off. – FumbleFingers Apr 20 '12 at 17:21
I must have misread OP's op as I thought OP sought merely written closings. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Apr 20 '12 at 19:06

Wikipedia calls it a valediction. I'd just call it a closing.

A valediction (derivation from Latin vale dicere, 'to say farewell'),1 or complimentary close in American English,[2] is an expression used to say farewell, especially a word or phrase used to end a letter or message,[3][4] or the act of saying parting words- whether brief, or extensive.

For the greetings counterpart to valediction, see salutation.

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In a letter, most people call it "a closing".

In person, most people call it "goodbyes".

"Valediction" is a perfectly good word but rarely used in common speech.

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In letters, it's called a complimentary close.

This guy collects them in a database: http://www.clarksco.com/trivia/regards/index.php

You could also use the word farewellsone definition being, a parting salutation

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The clarksco.com website doesn't exist anymore. Do you know if it has moved, so we could replace the URL? – Ellie Kesselman Nov 30 '12 at 11:06
@FeralOink, No, I don't know. Sorry. – JLG Nov 30 '12 at 17:26

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