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how do you do

(used as a conventional greeting).


[hou-duh-yuh-doo] /ˈhaʊ də yəˈdu/
noun, plural how-do-you-dos. Informal.
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/ (Show IPA)
Origin of how-do-you-do
1625-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for how do you do

how do you do

sentence substitute
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
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Idioms and Phrases with how do you do

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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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