noun, plural how·dies, interjection

hello; how do you do (used as an expression of greeting).

Origin of howdy

First recorded in 1820–30; from the phrase how do ye?



noun, plural how·dies. Scot. and North England Slang. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for howdy

Contemporary Examples of howdy

  • Chris takes Regan to see a psychiatrist, where she refers to the demon as Captain Howdy, who controls Regan's actions.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Imaginary Friends in Movies

    Marlow Stern

    May 5, 2011

Historical Examples of howdy

  • Howdy,” he retorted, with as much amiability as it was possible for him to display.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • "We wanted to be the fust to say howdy, old man," explained Asaph.

    Cy Whittaker's Place

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • And he's about the only commercial traveler I would ever say howdy to at those times.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • Howdy,” he civilly replied to a friendly greeting from Mr. Howell.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks

  • "Howdy, pards," he said, with an assumption of the cowboy manner.

British Dictionary definitions for howdy


sentence substitute

mainly US an informal word for hello

Word Origin for howdy

C16: from the phrase how d'ye do
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 howdy

1837, earlier how de (1828), first recorded in Southern U.S. dialect, contraction of how do you do (1630s), phrase inquiring after someone's health; earlier how do ye (1560s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper