how do you do

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how do you do

A question asked, often rhetorically, upon being introduced to someone, especially in a more formal setting. Ah, Margaret—it's lovely to meet you—how do you do? A: "How do you do?" B: "I do just fine, and you?"
See also: how
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

How do you do.

a standard inquiry and response on greeting or meeting someone. (This expression never has rising question intonation, but the first instance of its use calls for a response. Sometimes the response does, in fact, explain how one is.) Sally: Hello. How do you do. Bob: How do you do. Mary: How do you do. So glad to meet you, Tom. Tom: Thank you. How are you? Mary: Just fine. Your brother tells me you like camping. Tom: Yes. Are you a camper? Mary: Sort of.
See also: how
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
See also: how
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ˌhow do you ˈdo

(becoming old-fashioned) used as a formal greeting when you meet somebody for the first time. The usual reply is also How do you do?
See also: how
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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