, or Complimentary closing
is the term, expression, or phrase which immediately precedes the signature on a note, letter, or correspondence, most often written. The word or words so written express the esteem or regard for the person to whom the correspondence is directed. It is sometimes confused with valediction
, which is the act of bidding farewell, especially orally.
English complimentary closings typically contain the word yours, a contraction of your servant; old closings were usually some voluminous statement, a complete sentence of the form,
I beg to remain, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant,
This kind of ceremonious closing is still in use in some countries, for instance in France and Italy.