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From Middle English farewel, from fare wel!, an imperative expression, equivalent to fare (“to fare, travel, journey”) + well. Compare Scots farewele, fairweill (“farewell”), Saterland Frisian Foarwäil (“farewell”), West Frisian farwol (“farewell”), Dutch vaarwel (“farewell”), Danish farvel (“farewell”), Norwegian farvel (“farewell”), Swedish farväl (“farewell”), Faroese farvæl (“farewell”), Icelandic far vel (“farewell”).
farewell (plural farewells)
- A wish of happiness or welfare at parting, especially a permanent departure; the parting compliment; a goodbye; adieu.
1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
- The departure was not unduly prolonged. […] Within the door Mrs. Spoker hastily imparted to Mrs. Love a few final sentiments on the subject of Divine Intention in the disposition of buckets; farewells and last commiserations; a deep, guttural instigation to the horse; and the wheels of the waggonette crunched heavily away into obscurity.
- An act of departure; leave-taking; a last look at, or reference to something.
farewell (not comparable)
- Parting, valedictory, final.
- a farewell discourse; the band's farewell tour
- He said "Farewell!" and left.
- So farewell hope, and with hope, farewell fear.
- To bid farewell or say goodbye.
2009 February 9, Neil Wilson and staff writers, “Tributes for newsman Brian Naylor and wife, killed in fires”, in Herald Sun:
- He farewelled viewers with a warm sign-off after each bulletin: "May your news be good news, and goodnight."