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[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

how do you do

(used as a conventional greeting). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for how-do-you-do
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To-morrow,” I said (after some sort of how-do-you-do's had been exchanged), “you'll be flying all over the place, I suppose.

    The Five Jars Montague Rhodes James
  • He said how-do-you-do to Mrs. Knolles and to herself, and was presented to the others.

    Overlooked Maurice Baring
  • "how-do-you-do, sir," he repeated to Natalie in precisely the same tone, gravely shaking hands with her.

    Two on the Trail Hulbert Footner
  • He really came to see me; but he would like to say how-do-you-do to you at the same time.

    The Master Builder Henrik Ibsen
  • "Do come over and say how-do-you-do to Elinor and Bruce," she begged, catching sight of them across the room.

    Miss Pat at Artemis Lodge Pemberton Ginther
  • Be civil, say how-do-you-do, shake hands and give her a chair.

    The Betrothal Maurice Maeterlinck
  • Say, Shadow, give us a chance to say how-do-you-do first, won't you?

    Dave Porter in the Gold Fields Edward Stratemeyer
  • Then he of Clusium would flutter and say, how-do-you-do, in squeaky crow tones.

    The Story of Opal Opal Whiteley
  • "I thought I would just come in and say 'how-do-you-do,'" he said, shaking the duke heartily by the hand.

    The Socialist Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
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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