(used as an exclamation to call attention or to express pleasure, surprise, bewilderment, etc.)
Informal. hello: used as a greeting.

1150–1200; Middle English hei

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World English Dictionary
hay or hey2 (heɪ)
1.  a circular figure in country dancing
2.  a former country dance in which the dancers wove in and out of a circle
[C16: of uncertain origin]
hey or hey2
[C16: of uncertain origin]

hey (heɪ)
1.  an expression indicating surprise, dismay, discovery, etc, or calling for another's attention
2.  (South African) an exclamation used for emphasis at the end of a statement, or alone to seek repetition or confirmation of another person's statement
3.  hey presto an exclamation used by conjurors to herald the climax of a trick
[C13: compare Old French hay, German hei, Swedish hej]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

call to attract attention, early 13c., possibly a natural expression (cf. Roman eho, Gk. eia, Ger. hei).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The game was to set these as low as possible and, hey presto, to beat them.
Hey guys that is really cool you got to see a volcano.
Hey, if it's not there, throw it away and play another day.
Hey, blond hair and blue eyes are recessive as are red hair and green eyes.
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