The Meaning of God Speed: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of god speed? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the term god speed, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the term god speed mean?

The term god speed is a common misspelling of the term godspeed or Godspeed. According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary as well as other dictionaries like the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and Oxford English Dictionary, the word godspeed is a noun. This word is used to wish another person success and or a prosperous journey upon goodbye. In Middle English and Old English, this term was spelled as the phrase god spede yow, which is likely where people get the misspelling. Literally, this translates to “may God grant you success” or “God promises you success.” A person might wish someone else godspeed if they hope for their success or safety, especially if there is only a small chance of success.

Other languages besides English also have their own words and phrases that are equivalent to godspeed. Some of these words look and sound similar to godspeed, which are called cognates. Cognates are usually formed when two words have the same language of origin or root. This list of translations of godspeed is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Portuguese: vai com Deus‎
  •  Egyptian Arabic: بتوفيق‎ (betaufiʔ), ربنا معاك‎ (rabena maʕaak)
  •  Russian: пожела́ние уда́чи‎, с богом‎
  •  Lithuanian: Sudie‎
  •  French: bonne chance‎, bon courage‎, que Dieu soit avec toi/vous‎
  •  Greek: καλό κατευόδιο‎, καλή τύχη‎
  •  Estonian: Õnnelikku reisi‎
  •  Arabic: بِالتَوْفِيق‎, فِي مَعِيَّة اللّٰه‎
  •  Spanish: vaya con Dios‎, buena suerte‎
  •  Finnish: hyvää matkaa‎
  •  Dutch: ga met God‎, succes‎ (neut.)
  •  Latvian: ar Dievpalīgu‎
  •  Turkish: Yolun açık olsun‎, Selametle‎
  •  German: viel Erfolg!‎
  •  Swedish: lycka till‎

How can the term god speed be used in a sentence?

The term god speed can be used in many different English language sentences. Below are examples of godspeed.

The ad exec wished his friend Sarah godspeed and good will on her new venture last december. Thankfully, her daring endeavor was successful with a surprising swiftness.

The crotchety man sarcastically wished his hostess godspeed. Her short skirt did not suit his doctrine, and she has an understanding that he only wishes her a safe journey because he felt her outfit was “asking for it.”

The astronauts in the capsule Friendship, including John Glenn, wished everyone Godspeed.

Abraham wished his friend godspeed on the math quiz. He hoped for the person’s success, but the teacher thought they were almighty and made every test impossible to ace.

Arthur bid the Dubliners prayers and Godspeed in a humorous fashion. He was sad to see them go, but wanted them to have a happy memory.

What are synonyms and antonyms for god speed?

Many different words have the same definition of godspeed. These are called synonyms, which are useful words to know if you are trying to grow your vocabulary or avoid repeating yourself. The below synonyms for Godspeed are provided by Thesaurus.

  •  pleasant journey
  •  cheerio
  •  valediction
  •  approbation
  •  farewell
  •  regard
  •  sanction
  •  adios
  •  okay
  •  so long
  •  toodle-oo
  •  blessing
  •  bye-bye
  •  goodbye
  •  permission
  •  consent
  •  leave-taking
  •  happy landing
  •  God bless
  •  bon voyage
  •  tsetchem leshalom
  •  adieu
  •  ciao
  •  send-off
  •  support
  •  favor
  •  concurrence
  •  swan song
  •  backing
  •  leave
  •  parting
  •  gluckliche Reise
  •  good luck
  •  good wishes
  •  au revoir
  •  good success
  •  good cheer

Many different words also have the opposite meaning as godspeed. These opposite words are known as antonyms, which are another quick and easy way to grow your vocabulary. This list of antonyms of godspeed is also provided by Thesaurus

  •  buenas noches
  •  hey
  •  shalom
  •  hello
  •  how goes it
  •  good morning
  •  hi
  •  what’s happening
  •  what’s up
  •  greetings
  •  buenos dias
  •  howdy
  •  welcome
  •  how do you do
  •  good day
  •  bonjour
  •  how are you
  •  howdy-do
  •  hi-ya

What is the origin of god speed?

Per Etymonline, Godspeed has been used since the late 14c. Prior, it was spelled as two separate words, i.e. god speed or God speed, as well as God spede in Middle English and Old English before the evolution of the English language. This word comes from the present subjunctive of speden, which comes from the Old English spēd or spēdan. This term has been used for goodbyes and salutations since 15c, and in early 14c, it was used to mean quickly or speedily as an adverb. Back in the times of Middle English, good and God were spelled the same, which is likely where this mixup came from. 

The earliest usage is seen in a text from 1300, from the quote “He may bidde god me spede” by Sir Tristrem. This term is of religious origins, and is seen in the King James Version of the Christian Bible amongst others. This 1500s term also has another early example in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Knight’s Tale, the first story in the 1385 The Canterbury Tales. The quote reads, “God spede yow go forth and ley on faste.” Shakespeare also decided to use the phrase in his 1597 play Richard II, in the quote, “A brace of draimen bid, God speed him wel.” It has also been quoted by evangelist John Bunyan, James Joyce, and Henry James.

Overall, the religious phrase god speed is a misspelling of the term godspeed or Godspeed. Godspeed is used as a salutation or parting words to wish for a person’s success, prosperity and safety, particularly where there is little chance of success. You can use godspeed if you have true concern over a successful journey. It was first used by 14th-century speakers as a one of many common forms of greeting and comes from the Middle English god spede or god speid and Old English spēdan. It is one of many Old English terms still used today, with the old sense from the Latin successus.


  1. Godspeed | Definition of Godspeed | Merriam-Webster 
  2. Godspeed: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  3. godspeed | Origin and meaning of godspeed | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. GODSPEED Synonyms: 48 Synonyms & Antonyms for GODSPEED | Thesaurus 
  5. HELLO Synonyms: 20 Synonyms & Antonyms for HELLO | Thesaurus