Is there a verb for the inverse of greet, or a synonym verb for greet that has an inverse verb? Everything I can think of is a verb phrase, exclamation, or noun. Salute is the closest I could find, but it's applicable to arriving and departing.

For context, I’m writing a hello world example of a class and would like to add a method for the inverse of greet to the class to show classes are collections of attributes and behaviors. As a behavior, the method name should be a verb or start with one.

  • 1
    To bid farewell?
    – user323578
    Mar 19, 2019 at 15:40
  • Bid farewell is a verb phrase, is it not? The answer needs to be the inverse verb of greet.
    – datasmith
    Mar 19, 2019 at 16:54
  • If you're looking for a single word, I don't believe one exists. The closest phrases there are, are "to say goodbye" or "to bid farewell."
    – psosuna
    Mar 19, 2019 at 18:13
  • If you are dead set on having them be a matching pair, you are probably better off changing your Greet function's name to something else, like SayHello which pairs with SayGoodbye.
    – Hellion
    Mar 19, 2019 at 19:46
  • ... and then you can refactor them into a single Say function which takes a string as a parameter, and call it with Say(Hello) and Say(Goodbye).
    – Hellion
    Mar 19, 2019 at 19:51

6 Answers 6


The single-word verbal opposite of greet (as in a host welcoming guests) is dismiss:

1 : to permit or cause to leave
// dismiss the visitors
// Class is dismissed.

In your case, the function name could be dismiss().

To add to this, Hello, world! would be what was said at greeting, and, for example, Goodbye, world! would be what was said at dismissal.


The thing that you are saying when you are seeing people off is a valedictory, and the action itself is called a valediction:

valedictory n. an address or statement of farewell or leave-taking

valediction n. an act of bidding farewell
definitions from m-w.com

One would think, therefore, that the verb form is valedict. This, unfortunately, is not listed in any dictionary that I can find. However, it being for a programming exercise, you are free to use anything that you want. (Indeed, that's why "help with naming things in programs" is explicitly off-topic.) And valedict is clearly and obviously appropriate (if you are familiar with your Latin roots, at least: vale = 'goodbye', dict = 'speak').

  • 1
    As a bonus, to make your actions feel more like a matching pair, you should change your "Greet" function to "Salutate".
    – Hellion
    Mar 19, 2019 at 19:43

In your context "To greet" is to say "Hello" to someone entering your presence (your locality). The opposite would be to wish someone farewell as they leave. This would be saying "Goodbye" or "Farewell".


For the purposes of naming a programming procedure, you probably don't have to be too grammatically correct. Maybe smashing a phrase together - like "sendoff" - would work for you?


The only terms that comes to my mind:

  • "Part", which is listed as an archaic meaning by Merriam-Webster but is a transitive verb like "greet." "Parting" and "parted" are both still in common use, but "greeting" and "greeted" are both more common than "greet", too. I think "part" only comes to my mind because of the IRC PART command for leaving a chat room.

  • "Close", borrowing from "closing" as in a speech or letter.

  • "Leave", but the latter connotes actually exiting rather than a farewell or goodbye (similar to "parting" vs "departing").

It would seem to me that while there is a common verb for entering and a common verb for greeting, there are only common verbs for departing or exiting and only nouns and verb phrases for farewell, goodbye, or closing.

I would probably use "close" or "parting".


There can be no historic inverse of greet, if, as it seems to me, greet once meant both, just as much as good day, sir can be used for "good-bying".

dict.cc gives dismissal second to farewell as translation for Ger. Verabschiedung. I don't even know in which context they see it, but it already shows some negative connotation. We see Icelandic græta "to make (someone) cry, drive to tears" linked to greet, and the noun grata further as "mourn". The association may be passover, funeral, to condole, to pay respect? For grata we see PGem grētaną, "to weep, to cry" (from the PIE root *ǵʰreh₁d-, "to sound"), whence the verb *grōtijaną, "to cause to weep, make cry; to scold, to address (an issue), to address (an individual); greet", whence e.g. above* græta* and also our English greet.

We might see a remnant of this in German vergrätzen (synonym vergraulen, vergellen, verdrießen and more explicit verstoßen) "to alienate, to chagrin, to anger (as much as to make one leave)". I'm not sure, couldn't find anything specific in my usual sources.

Therefore, it depends on context, and the most general context is to holla.

You should also consider the many different languages parting greetings that amount to "see you soon/next time" and look for a word for this. I think it might be acceptable, if a bit archaic, to say

he parted with a greet

and along the lines of to bid ones farewell, to say

to greet ones parting

But of course that's not idiomatic, otherwise you wouldn't be asking.

We see the same in-and-out correspondence in military jargon

to salute, salutation

That would fit, but not in all contexts.

  • As a side note, verabschieden (chiefly "to say goodbey") also means "(of a law) to adopt, to pass", that has always struck me as odd, and shows the same counterintuitive correspondence. The stem scheiden means to pass, to cede, divide (with various prefixes; probably somewhat related to shit, as Ausscheidung is "ex-crement", or "secretion"), but entscheiden "decide" might be the informative relative to the judicial sense. PS: I'm not sure whether schätzen "to estimate" belongs here (I doubt it bc. of Schutz "protection"), but wertschätzen "to esteem*, fit's the theme.
    – vectory
    Mar 19, 2019 at 20:43
  • Another nint might be ich empfehle mich as salute (literally "I recommend myself). to commend oneself does exist, but I don't know of the meaning or context.
    – vectory
    Mar 19, 2019 at 20:48

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