Etymology
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greet (v.)
Old English gretan "to come in contact with" in any sense ("attack, accost" as well as "salute, welcome," and "touch, take hold of, handle," as in hearpan gretan "to play the harp"), "seek out, approach," from West Germanic *grotjan (source also of Old Saxon grotian, Old Frisian greta, Dutch groeten, Old High German gruozen, German grüßen "to salute, greet"), of uncertain origin.

In English, German, and Dutch, the primary sense has become "to salute," but the word once had much broader meaning. Perhaps originally "to resound" (via notion of "cause to speak"), causative of Proto-Germanic *grætanan, root of Old English grætan (Anglian gretan) "weep, bewail," from PIE *gher- (2) "to call out." Greet still can mean "cry, weep" in Scottish & northern England dialect, though this might be from a different root. Grætan probably also is the source of the second element in regret. Related: Greeted; greeting.
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greeter (n.)
late 14c., agent noun from greet.
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greeting (n.)
Old English greting "salutation," verbal noun from gretan (see greet). Related: Greetings. First record of greeting card is from 1876.
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welcome (v.)
Old English wilcumian "to welcome, greet gladly," from wilcuma (see welcome (n.)). Related: Welcomed; welcoming.
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salute (v.)

late 14c., saluten, "to greet courteously and respectfully," earlier salue (c. 1300, from Old French salver), from Latin salutare "to greet, pay respects," literally "wish health to," from salus (genitive salutis) "greeting, good health," which is related to salvus "safe" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").

The military and nautical sense of "display flags, fire cannons, etc., as a mark of ceremonious recognition or respect" is recorded from 1580s; specific sense of "raise the hand to the cap in the presence of a superior officer" is from 1844. In 18c. use often "to greet with a kiss."

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salutatory (adj.)

1690s, "pertaining to a salutation; of the nature of a greeting," from Latin salutatorius "pertaining to visiting or greeting," from salut-, past-participle stem of salutare "to greet" (see salute (v.)). From 1702 in reference to an address which welcomes those attending commencement exercises.

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holla 
1580s as a command to get attention, in which use it belongs in the group with hello, hallo. From 1520s as a command to "stop, cease," from French holà (15c.), which "Century Dictionary" analyzes as ho! + la "there." As an urban slang form of holler (v.) "greet, shout out to," it was in use by 2003.
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bird (n.3)
"middle finger held up in a rude gesture," slang derived from 1860s expression give the big bird "to hiss someone like a goose," kept alive in vaudeville slang with sense of "to greet someone with boos, hisses, and catcalls" (1922), transferred 1960s to the "up yours" hand gesture (the rigid finger representing the hypothetical object to be inserted) on notion of defiance and contempt. The gesture itself seems to be much older (the human anatomy section of a 12c. Latin bestiary in Cambridge describes the middle finger as that "by means of which the pursuit of dishonour is indicated").
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hail (v.1)

"to greet or address with 'hail!,'" also "to drink toasts," c. 1200, heilen; to call to from a distance," 1560s (in this sense originally nautical), from hail (interj.). Related: Hailed; hailing. Bartlett ["Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848] identifies to hail from (1841) as "a phrase probably originating with seamen or boatmen." Hail fellow well met is from 1580s as a descriptive adjective, from a familiar greeting; hail fellow (adj.) "overly familiar" is from 1570s. Hail Mary (c. 1300) is the angelic salutation (Latin ave Maria) in Luke i.58, used as a devotional recitation. As a desperation play in U.S. football, attested by 1940. "Hail, Columbia," the popular patriotic song, also was a euphemism for "hell" in American English slang from c. 1850-1910.

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salutation (n.)

late 14c., salutacioun, "a courteous or respectful greeting; a ceremonial visit; a sign of respect," from Old French salutacion "greeting" and directly from Latin salutationem (nominative salutatio) "a greeting, saluting," noun of action from past-participle stem of salutare "to greet, pay respects," literally "wish health to" (see salute (v.)). As a word of greeting (elliptical for "I offer salutation") it is recorded from 1530s. Related: Salutations.

A greeting generally expresses a person's sense of pleasure or good wishes upon meeting another. Salutation and salute are by derivation a wishing of health, and are still modified by that idea. A salutation is personal, a salute official or formal ; salutation suggests the act of the person saluting, salute is the thing done ; a salutation is generally in words, a salute may be by cheers, the dipping of colors, the roll of drums, the firing of cannon, etc. [Century Dictionary]
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