(used as a conventional greeting.)
Other definitions for how-do-you-do (2 of 2)
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/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use how do you do in a sentence
She tried the direct, how-do-you-do handshake approach, but was blocked by a burly aide-de-camp.Andrew Cuomo Can't Ignore It Now: He's Weak Even at Home | David Freedlander | September 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Then he of Clusium would flutter and say, How-do-you-do, in squeaky crow tones.The Story of Opal | Opal Whiteley
Dinah Oh, Mr. Pim, you mustn't run away without even saying how-do-you-do!Mr. Pim Passes By | Alan Alexander Milne
The idea of going right into the pantry without a how-do-you-do 21 or a by-your-leave!The Adventures of Maya the Bee | Waldemar Bonsels
Do you people down there still keep up that tiresome business of 'how-do-you-do' and 'good-bye'?Atlantis | Gerhart Hauptmann
The children of the ranchman called the birds the 'how-do-you-do owls,' from the way they bow their heads as people pass.A-Birding on a Bronco | Florence A. Merriam
British Dictionary definitions for how do you do
Also: how do?, how d'ye do? a formal greeting said by people who are being introduced to each other or are meeting for the first time
informal a difficult situation
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with how do you do
A conventional greeting used mostly after being introduced to someone, as in And this is our youngest—say “How do you do” to Mr. Smith. Although it is a question, it requires no reply. Originally, in the 1600s, this expression was an inquiry after a person's health or standing, how do you do meaning “how do you fare?” Today we usually express this as How are you? or How are you doing? or How goes it? or How's it going? Even more general are the slangy locutions How are things? or How's tricks? All of these greetings date from the first half of the 1900s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.