The Meaning of Best Regards: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever wondered about the definition of best regards? This article will provide you with all of the info you need on the salutation best regards, including its definition, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does best regards mean?

According to Grammarly and iTalki, best records is a common closing to a letter, also known as a valediction. This is a formal closing to a letter or email sign-off that one might see in professional correspondence or formal communication, such as a professional email or semi-formal letter closing. When you use a closing to a letter like best regards, this implied high regard for the person that you are sending this to. People might use the term best regards with close friends or in a business letter or business emails, or as a sign-off to something like a cover letter. This may be too formal for something like an email signature, though many people do still use it. English speakers use this letter closing to show respect and esteem for the person that they are writing to whether via email or in a handwritten or typed letter

Many other languages have their own letter and email sign-offs which are different than English speakers would use.  According to BBC Worklife, in French, people use mille baisers, which translates to a thousand kisses. While this may sound very intimate in an English email to a co-worker, in French it is very common. In Arabic, many people use taqabalou waafir al-iHtiraam wa al-taqdeer, which means accept an abundance of respect and appreciation. It is interesting to see the level of formality and intimacy in email and letter sign-offs in different cultures and languages. Some people may find using best regards to be very cold and aloof, while in other cultures one might find mille baisers to be far too intimate for a work setting.

How can best regards be used in a sentence?

The most common place that one might see the term best regards used is in a formal email. People will commonly use this to signal high respect for the person that they are sending a letter or email to. Below are a few examples of situations in which best regards is appropriate to use. In the first example, Harold is writing a letter of recommendation for his former student Maude.

To the Faculty of The University of Maryland,

I am writing to you to give my utmost recommendation for my student Maude Johnson to attend the dual masters program in mathematics at your university. Maude has taken three different math classes from me, and has always shown a high level of respect and discipline, not to mention a love for the subject area. She is a pleasure to have in class and she would be an excellent addition to your program. Please contact me with any questions you may have.

Best Regards,

Harold Hanover

In this next example, Jon is a lawyer who is writing an email to another lawyer regarding a breach of contract. He ensures that he keeps his letter professional and respectful.

Dear Mr. Reeves,

I am writing to inform you that as of the Fifteenth day of March, 2021 your client Rob Thomas has breached his contract with my client, Juliet Reynolds. Proof of said breah is attached to this email, with screenshots detailing the messages that your client sent to Ms. Reynolds. Please see the attached letter detailing the monetary compensation we expect due to this breach of contract and feel free to contact me a the phone number in my signature with any questions or concerns.

Best Regards,

Jon Smythe

Here, Jon is using the phrase best regards to sign his letter to the other lawyer. In many legal dealings, formality is considered very important. Although Jon may be angry or frustrated, he must always maintain a professional demeanor.

What are synonyms to best regards?

According to The Balance Careers, there are many different words and phrases that one can use to sign off a letter. These are all considered synonyms to best regards, as they have the same meaning, but might have different levels of formality or intimacy. One might choose to use a synonym for best regards to increase their vocabulary and knowledge of the english language, or to avoid repeating themselves. 

  • Cheers
  • Kind regards
  • Thanks!
  • Sincerely
  • Cordially
  • Thank you for your consideration
  • Respectfully yours
  • Best wishes
  • Warm regards
  • Warmest regards
  • With best regards
  • Yours faithfully
  • Kindest regards
  • Thank you
  • Best
  • Respectfully
  • Warmly
  • Yours truly
  • TTFN
  • TTYL
  • Later
  • Hopefully
  • Most sincerely
  • Sincerely yours
  • Regards

What is the origin of the term best regards?

According to Etymonline, the noun regard has been used since the mid-14th century to refer to some consideration or judgment. This comes from the Old French regard, which is a form of the verb regarder meaning “to take notice of.” This comes from the prefix re-, which is an intensive, and the root garder, which means to look or heed. This has its roots in Germanic languages, as is also where we get the word guard in English. The phrase best regards therefore means that you are sending the letter with your best judgment and consideration. Related words include regarded and regarding.

Overall, the term best regards is a formal letter or email valediction that one might see in an email or letter in a workplace or in an otherwise formal setting. While it is not common to see this in casual emails or messages, it is considered a very polite greeting and could be appropriate to use on a cover letter, letter of recommendation, or in some other professional or formal setting.