- a greeting; salutation: She smiled and gave him a how-do-you-do fit for a king.
- an awkward or unpleasant event or situation: It's a fine how-do-you-do that they've refused to help us out.
Also how-de-do [hou-dee-doo] /ˈhaʊ diˈdu/.
Origin of how-do-you-do
First recorded in 1625–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for how-de-do
That's no 'how-de-do' salute, that's a 'come r-r-right here' one!The Brass Bound Box
How-de-do, Deering; pray dont hesitate to make yourself at home.Deering of Deal
Put on your best toggery, Carter, and make your bow, and say how-de-do.Miss Ravenel's conversion from secession to loyalty
J. W. de Forest
So he said "How-de-do" to the snail, and then the monkey boy went on toward home.Jacko and Jumpo Kinkytail
Howard R. Garis
She had not seen the teacher more than to say "how-de-do" since their rather warm discussion before the date of the town meeting.Janice Day
Helen Beecher Long