Farewell speech

A farewell speech or farewell address is a speech given by an individual leaving a position or place. They are often used by public figures such as politicians as a capstone to the preceding career, or as statements delivered by persons relating to reasons for their leaving. The term is often used as a euphemism for "retirement speech," though it is broader in that it may include geographical or even biological conclusion.

In the Classics, a term for a dignified and poetic farewell speech is apobaterion (ἀποβατήριον), standing opposed to the epibaterion, the corresponding speech made upon arrival.[1]

U.S. presidential farewell addresses[edit]

Many U.S. presidential speeches have been given the moniker "farewell address" since George Washington's address in 1796.[2] Some notable examples:

Other notable farewell speeches[edit]

Napoleon saying farewell to the Old Guard at the Palace of Fontainebleau, after his first abdication (1814)


  1. ^ a b Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). "Apobatedion". Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (1st ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. p. 115.
  2. ^ "Barack Obama's Farewell Address and 6 Other Memorable Presidential Goodbyes". Time. Retrieved 2018-06-19.
  3. ^ "Remarks by President Trump In Farewell Address to the Nation". The White House. Retrieved January 20, 2021.