[ chah-aw; English chou ]
/ ˈtʃɑ ɔ; English tʃaʊ /

interjection Italian.

(used as a word of greeting or parting): hello; goodbye; so long; see you later. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ciao

  • I believe the word is derived from “schiavo,” a slave, which became corrupted into “schiao,” and “ciao.”

British Dictionary definitions for ciao


/ Italian (tʃau) /

sentence substitute

an informal word for hello, goodbye
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ciao


parting salutation, 1929, dialectal variant of Italian schiavo "(your obedient) servant," literally "slave," from Medieval Latin sclavus "slave" (see slave (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper