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See also: Salaam



From Arabic سَلَام(salām, peace), from Proto-Semitic *šalām-. Doublet of shalom, a borrowing from Hebrew.




  1. A respectful ceremonial greeting performed mostly in Islamic countries.



salaam (plural salaams)

  1. A low bow as a ceremonial act of deference.
    • 1790, John MacDonald, Travels, in Various Parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, London, for the author, p. 168,[1]
      [] the finest dressed one entered first; put her two hands to her forehead, then to her breasts, and with her two hands touched the Colonel’s foot; this is called a grand salam []
    • 1840, John Wilson, “On the Genius and Character of Burns” in John Wilson and Robert Chambers, The Land of Burns, Glasgow: Blackie & Son, Volume 2, p. lxxv,[2]
      Finally, Josiah might have made his salaam to the Exciseman just as he was folding up that letter []
    • 1895, Rabindranath Tagore, letter dated 14 August, 1895 in Glimpses of Bengal, London: Macmillan, 1921, pp. 160-161,[3]
      My servant was late one morning, and I was greatly annoyed at his delay. He came up and stood before me with his usual salaam, and with a slight catch in his voice explained that his eight-year-old daughter had died last night.
    • 1921, Ruth Plumly Thompson, The Royal Book of Oz, Chicago: Reilly & Lee, Chapter 3,[4]
      The old gentleman made several deep salaams.
    • 1942, Henry Miller, The Colossus of Maroussi, London: Secker & Warburg, Part Two, p. 112,[5]
      Mr. Tsoutsou and his wife appeared for just a moment to see how I was faring, commented bravely on the delicious, appetizing appearance of the skinned fish and disappeared with bows and salaams which sent an electric thrill through the assembled patrons of Herakleion’s most distinguished restaurant.


salaam (third-person singular simple present salaams, present participle salaaming, simple past and past participle salaamed)

  1. (intransitive, transitive) To perform a salaam (to someone).
    • 1896, Joseph Conrad, An Outcast of the Islands, Part 3, Chapter 1,[6]
      [] he went away salaaming, and protesting his friendship and his master’s goodwill.
    • 1934, George Orwell, Burmese Days, Chapter 6,[7]
      He salaamed low to Flory, covering his face with his hand []
    • 1937, Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana, London: Macmillan, p. 165,[8]
      Outside the town, three ragged children salaamed the Governor from the back of a camel.
    • 1968, Jan Morris, Pax Britannica, Faber & Faber, 2010, Chapter 17, p. 379,[9]
      The tea-planters’ houses of Ceylon [] were often surrounded by admirable lawns of coarse mountain grass, upon which the planters’ ladies enviably sat, buzzed about by harmless insects and salaamed by passing serfs.
    • 1988, Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming-Pool Library, Penguin, Chapter 2, p. 41,[10]
      Nantwich made a kind of diving or salaaming motion with his hands, and the man nodded and smiled.



Alternative forms[edit]


From Arabic سَلَام(salām, peace), from Proto-Semitic *šalām-.



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