buenos días

[ bwe-naws th ee-ahs ]
/ ˈbwɛ nɔs ˈði ɑs /

interjection Spanish.

good morning; good day.

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Which of the following words means “to travel or journey, especially to walk on foot”?
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does buenos días mean?

Buenos días means “good morning” or “good day” in Spanish. It is used as a common, polite greeting. 

What are some other words related to buenos días?

Where does buenos días come from?

Buenos días is a common expression in Spanish—and one of the first things Spanish-language learners pick up.

Buenos means “good” and días literally means “days” in Spanish, but refers to daylight or the morning more generally. Taken together, the two mean “good day” or “good morning”.

When buenos días became a familiar greeting in Spanish is unclear. Both words derive from Latin, and the expression could have been used in post-classical Latin as early as the 400s a.d.

Today, the expression buenos días is commonly used by Spanish speakers around the world as a polite and friendly morning “hello” to friends and strangers alike. 

After lunch, people swap out buenos días for buenas tardes (“good afternoon”) in most Spanish-speaking countries. After dinner or when it’s become dark, people use buenas noches (“good night”).

How is buenos días used in real life?

Spanish speakers of all levels, from native speakers to first-time learners, use buenos días as a polite greeting in the morning before roughly 12–2pm. Spanish-language morning shows may use buenos días in their names (e.g., NBC Telemundo’s Buenos Días Miami). The phrase is sometimes even hashtagged as #buenosdias on social media.

Even if you don’t speak Spanish fluently, buenos días is an important and useful expression to incorporate into your vocabulary to help you interact with Spanish speakers all around the world.

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.