Aloha (//; Hawaiian: [əˈloːˌha]) is the Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion and mercy, that is commonly used as a simple greeting but has a deeper cultural and spiritual significance to native Hawaiians, in which the term is used to define a force that holds together existence.
The word is found in all Polynesian languages and always with the same basic meaning of "love, compassion, sympathy, kindness"although the use in Hawai’i has a seriousness lacking in the Tahitian and Samoan meanings. Mary Kawena Pukui wrote that the "first expression" of aloha was between a parent and child. The Oxford English Dictionary defined the word as a "greeting" like "welcome" and "farewell" using a number of examples dating back as far as 1798 and up to 1978 where it was defined as a substitute for welcome.
Lorrin Andrews wrote the first Hawaiian dictionary, called A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language. In it he describes aloha as "A word expressing different feelings; love, affection, gratitude, kindness, pity, compassion, grief, the modern common salutation at meeting; parting". Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel Hoyt Elbert's Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian also contains a similar definition. Anthropologist Francis Newton states that "Aloha is a complex and profound sentiment. Such emotions defy definition". Anna Wierzbicka concludes that the term has "no equivalent in English".
- As-salamu alaykum, a greeting in Arabic that means "Peace be upon you"
- Mahalo (word), a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respects
- Namaste, a customary Hindu greeting
- Ohana, a Hawaiian term meaning "family"
- Shalom, a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility
- Talofa, a salutation or greeting in the Samoan language
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- Pukui, Mary Kawena (1986). Hawaiian Dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0824807030. OCLC 229095.
- Van Valkenburg, June A. (2012), Feeling My Way: Finding Purpose, BalboaPress, p. 69, ISBN 978-1-4525-5462-4
- Carrol, Bret (2000). The Routledge Historical Atlas of Religion in America. Psychology Press. p. 19. ISBN 9780415921312.
- Kanahele, George Hu'eu Sanford (1992). Ku Kanaka Stand Tall: A Search for Hawaiian Values. University of Hawaii Press. p. 470. ISBN 978-0-8248-1500-4.
- Wierzbicka, Anna (1992). Semantics, Culture, and Cognition: Universal Human Concepts in Culture-Specific Configurations. Oxford University Press. pp. 152–155. ISBN 978-0-19-536091-2.
- Forbes, David W. (1998). Hawaiian National Bibliography, Vol 3: 1851–1880. University of Hawaii Press. p. 385. ISBN 978-0-8248-2503-4.
- Andrews, Lorrin; Parker, Henry (1922). A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language. Honolulu: Board of Commissioners of Public Archives of the Territory of Hawaii. p. 52.
- Kerr, Breena (April 23, 2018). "In Hawaii, being nice is the law". BBC. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- Hawaiʻi Law of The Aloha Spirit