We’ve all heard of a salutation in a letter or an email, but is there a word for the “regards” or “best wishes” that you end your email off with?
Indeed, there is! And you’ll find it, and many other useful synonyms, in the article below. Happy reading!
Words for the Opposite of a Salutation
- The most accurate word for the opposite of a salutation in a letter or email is “valediction.”
- In modern times, people call the last line in an email a “sign-off.”
- To be clear and literal, you can call the last line in a letter a “closing.”
Stay right there! We still need to discuss our top three synonyms for the opposite of a salutation in more detail.
Furthermore, we’ll provide some example sentences showing you how to use each of our choices.
If you’re looking for one word that describes the closing part of a letter or email, we would recommend the word “valediction.”
Merriam-Webster defines “valediction” as “an act of bidding farewell.” Essentially, this is the word for the opposite of a greeting.
In other words, in a letter or email, the salutation would be phrases like “dear,” “good day,” or “to whom it may concern.” On the other hand, “valediction” refers to phrases like “yours sincerely,” “kind regards,” and “with love,” etc.
Unfortunately, “valediction” is not a very popular phrase these days. It is used very rarely and many English speakers may not even recognize it. Therefore, you may be tempted to avoid it since it may appear dated.
However, that can change if you choose to use it more often and introduce it to others! That’s the beauty of language, after all.
So, let’s bring this term back to life and use it in a couple of example sentences:
Remember to include a friendly valediction at the end of your letter to the chairperson – we want to keep them sweet.
Once again, Joshua, “keep it keepin’ on” is not an appropriate valediction for your work emails.
A more popular phrase for the opposite of a salutation is a “sign-off.” You will come across this phrase most frequently in professional settings like the modern workplace.
Merriam-Webster defines “signing off” (the verb) as “to announce the end of something (such as a message or broadcast).” In modern times, people have referred to the ending line of an email where you “sign off” as “a sign-off” (the noun) in reference to this definition.
Therefore a “sign-off” is a colloquialism meaning the opposite of a salutation in the case of an email.
This phrase works for electronic messages because it links to the idea of a broadcast. After all, emails can be sent to multiple people at once and the message in them can be broadcasted.
However, the phrase doesn’t work as well in reference to written letters since only one person can read the same letter at a time. Nonetheless, it can be used colloquially either way, and it often is.
To see what we mean, consider the examples below:
My gen z employee always uses “tepid regards” as a sign-off in her emails.
Don’t forget to end the message with a sign-off so they know we mean business.
You can call the opposite of a salutation in a letter a “closing.”
Merriam-Webster defines a “closing” as “a concluding part.” Therefore, it is appropriate to call the phrase that concludes your letter a “closing.”
This phrase works well as a reference to the ending line of a letter, but you can call the final phrase in an email your “closing” as well.
Either way, this term refers to the phrase that ends off your message and officially bids farewell to the reader.
Finally, let’s see how you might use this term in an example or two:
I would go with a more formal closing if I were you.
I always say “regards” as a closing phrase – it is suitably non-committal.