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salutation (n.)

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

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Definitions of salutation from WordNet

salutation (n.)
an act of honor or courteous recognition;
Synonyms: salute
salutation (n.)
(usually plural) an acknowledgment or expression of good will (especially on meeting);
Synonyms: greeting
salutation (n.)
word of greeting used to begin a letter;
From wordnet.princeton.edu