The Meaning of Godspeed: What It Is and How To Use It

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

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What does the word godspeed mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and others like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word godspeed is a noun – sometimes capitalized – that is used to wish someone a prosperous journey or success. This term is from Old English and Middle English god spede and is used to wish someone good luck, good wishes and prosperity; literally, “may God grant you success.” If someone is hoping for a person’s success in a new venture or a safe journey, they may wish them godspeed. This is particularly used if there is little chance of success or if there is a true concern for safety. 

Many other languages also contain words that mean godspeed (interj.). You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to the word godspeed. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that mean the same thing as well as look and sound similar between languages. These are often formed when two words have the same root word or language of origin like Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word godspeed is provided by Word Sense.

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

How can the word godspeed be used in a sentence?

The word godspeed can be used in many different circumstances in the English language. Below are examples of Godspeed. 

The kid wished the old man godspeed on his long journey. They had an understanding of each other, and a strange capsule friendship that not many understood. The blonde child wished the man good cheer, good success, and safety on the journey before him. 

John wished the missionary godspeed on his mission. He hoped for the person’s success and for the spreading of the Bible to other countries. The missionary carried the King James version with him wherever he went, and a manuscript of Genesis. He believes that God promises good to those who perpetuate the furtherance of his word. 

Sarah wished her younger brother godspeed when she dropped him off at Princeton University. She looked in her rearview mirror, and a tear fell from her eye. She knew he would be great, but was always worried for his safety. 

In the knight’s tale, the lover wished her prince godspeed. She hoped he would be watched over by the cosmos and have a safe journey, though she knew there was little chance of success.

The man wished his hostess godspeed in a humorous fashion when he saw her roll away on her roller skates. 

I spent a good chunk of my teenage years in a reimagined part of my boyhood. When I graduated, I decided to bid godspeed to my youth and dedicate an oath to God almighty by becoming a priest.

The spouses did the astronauts godspeed. They could only hope that God would grant their person safety. Upon returning, the astronaut stated, “The moon landing was the favourite part of my life.”

Abraham wished godspeed to his friends. They would keep listening to their albums and deciphering song lyrics, but Abraham wanted to get home to watch the old movies he loved so much. 

What is the origin of the word godspeed?

According to Etymonline, the word godspeed has been used as an interjection since the late 14th century in the modern spelling. It was also spelled as God speed or God spede in Middle English and Old English using the third person sing. of the present subjunctive of speden, of the Old English spēdan/spēd. This phrase was used to wish to someone that God grants them success. This has been used as a salutation since the 15th century, and was also used as an adverb meaning quickly or speedily in the early 14th century. However, then-identically spelled good and God were mixed up here. This has been used as a surname since the late 13th century. The earliest usage comes from a text circa 1300 that states, “He may bidde god me spede.” This religious phrase is of religious origins and with the evolution of the English language, can be seen in  many common forms of greeting. 

What are synonyms for the word godspeed?

There are many different words and phrases that a person can use in place of the word godspeed. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself in conversation or a written work, as well as if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word godspeed is provided by Thesaurus

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

There are also numerous different words that mean the opposite of the word godspeed. These opposite words are called antonyms. Antonyms are another great tool to use to expand your English language vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word godspeed is provided by Thesaurus as well. 

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

Overall, the word godspeed is used to wish people well through rough stretches. This is one of many Old English terms that has been used since the 1500s, with one early example of the old sense of the word around 1300. 


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