AskDefine | Define Godspeed

Dictionary Definition

Godspeed n : a successful journey; "they wished him Godspeed"

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From Middle English, from "God speed you." (May God help you prosper.)




  1. An expression of respect and good will when addressing someone, typically someone about to go on a journey or a daring endeavor.
  2. A Christian substitute to the otherwise sacrilegious "good luck", which implies that anything can be random and out of the hands of God. Used to express concern and prayer for someone.
    Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God-speed. (John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress)
    "I'm wishing you God-speed, Hattersley," cried Arthur, "and aiding you with my prayers." (Anne Brontë, Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
    Rowland at the garden gate was giving his hostess Godspeed on her way to church. (Henry James, Roderick Hudson)
    Eight years before he had seen his friend off at the North Wall and wished him God-speed. (James Joyce, Dubliners)

Extensive Definition

Godspeed, as a word, is a wish for a prosperous journey, success, and good fortune. For example, it was said by Scott Carpenter to John Glenn before Glenn's first trip to space in Friendship 7, and is now traditionally said prior to launch to all U.S. spaceflight crews. In different contexts it may refer to:
Novels: In music:
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