American English (first recorded reference is to speech of a Kansas Indian), originally to attract attention, probably a variant of Middle Englishhey, hy (circa 1475). Also an exclamation to call attention.
Homophones: Hi, hie, high
A friendly, informal, casual greeting said upon someone's arrival.
2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
Anna: Pete, hi! Hi, we are here! — Pete: Hi, Anna! Hi, Marsha! — Anna: Hi! — Pete: How are you two? — Marsha: I am great!
An exclamation to call attention.
(dated) Expressing wonder or derision.
(friendly informal greeting):hello, greetings
The word "hi" used as a greeting.
I didn't even get a hi.
Informal spelling of high, often hyphenated.
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Tosk form of Gheg hî (pl. hin), from Proto-Albanian*skina, from *skines, from Proto-Indo-European*ḱenHis (compare Latincinis(“dust; cinder”), Ancient Greekκόνις(kónis, “ashes; dust”)).
him (definite singularhiri)
dust of corpses
(figuratively) memory of the dead
(Southern) IPA(key): /i/
(Northern) IPA(key): /hi/
second-person singular personal pronoun, familiar; you
From Proto-Celtic*sī. Cognate to Welshhi.
From Old Catalany, i, hic, from Latinhīc(“here”) and ibī(“there”). Compare Frenchy.
(Balearic, Central, Valencian) IPA(key): /ˈi/
hi (enclitic and proclitic)
represents a place associated with the action described by the verb, unless the place would be introduced by the preposition de
there (in constructions such as "there is", "there are", etc.: see haver-hi)
replaces an adverb (or adverbial phrase) describing the manner, instrument or association of an action
replaces a phrase introduced by any preposition except de (most commonly a or en)
replaces an indefinite noun or an adjective which is the predicate of a verb other than ésser, esdevenir, estar or semblar
(Central Catalan)in combination with other object pronouns, the third-person singular indirect object pronoun ("to him", "to her", "to it")
When more than one object pronoun is associated with a given verb, hi is always the last in the group.
Hi and ho cannot be used together with the same verb, nor can two his be used together.
It is sometimes stated that hi is never used to replace a compliment beginning with de. This is not completely accurate, as hi can replace adverbial phrases such as de pressa, de sobte, etc.