A valedictory is a speech expressing farewell, as at a school graduation. The adjective valedictory relates to saying good-bye, but almost always refers to a speech or address.

Many people think of a valedictory address as the graduation speech given by the kid who got the highest grades in school — and often it is — but valedictory words don't have to have anything to do with schools or grades or throwing your cap in the air. They're all about taking one's leave or saying farewell, whether it's the president leaving office or a worker reaching retirement or a friend at a going-away party.

Definitions of valedictory

n a farewell oration (especially one delivered during graduation exercises by an outstanding member of a graduating class)

valediction, valedictory address, valedictory oration
Type of:
addressing an audience formally (usually a long and rhetorical address and often pompous)

adj of or relating to an occasion or expression of farewell

“a valedictory address”
valedictory praise for his uniformly manly course”
“a suitable valedictory gesture”

adj of a speech expressing leave-taking

“a valedictory address”
occurring at or marking the close of a term of office

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