First Lady

variants: or first lady
plural First Ladies or first ladies

Definition of First Lady

1 : the wife or female partner of the chief executive of a country or jurisdiction It is a reminder of just how peculiar the role of First Lady is in American public life. She has a job with no salary, a platform with no power, an East Wing filled with staff but no budget.— Jonathan Van Meter As a supermodel, singer-songwriter, and former first lady of France, no one has had a career quite like Carla Bruni. Since her husband, Nicolas Sarkozy, left office in 2012, Bruni has focused on her music.— Janelle Okwodu also : someone who is not the wife or female partner of a chief executive but who fulfills the public duties of a First Lady Unique among First Ladies, Harriet Lane acted as hostess for the only President who never married: James Buchanan, her favorite uncle and her guardian after she was orphaned at the age of eleven. — Allida Black
2 : the leading woman of an art or profession Back before Mobb Deep, before the whole Juice Crew, the first MC to blow up big out of the Bridge was hip hop's universally recognized First Lady, Roxanne Shanté.— Sacha Jenkins Carolyn Wells is the first lady of barbecue—alongside her late husband Gary Wells and friend Rick Welch, the three founded the Kansas City Barbeque Society in 1986.— Damian Dominguez

Examples of First Lady in a Sentence

The President and the First Lady attended the concert. the first lady of American dance
Recent Examples on the Web One exception to this policy was first lady Jill Biden’s bold sartorial move this week. Mika Brzezinski, NBC News, 11 June 2021 His opponent is the heir to a right-wing political dynasty, a former first lady dogged by corruption charges who would be the first ethnic Japanese woman elected to lead any nation. Washington Post, 3 June 2021 Jill Biden is the oldest sitting first lady in modern history but remains an active senior citizen. Libby Cathey, ABC News, 3 June 2021 During the years between her high-profile television hosting duties, George was also the first lady of Kentucky when her then husband, John Brown, was elected governor. Hilary Levey Friedman, Glamour, 7 May 2021 Being first lady is merely a vehicle for things Biden wants to do. Kate Bennett, CNN, 29 Apr. 2021 Kornahuser's daughter, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, is now Poland's first lady., 22 Mar. 2021 There is no evidence to support the claim that Aleister Crowley was former first lady Barbara Bush's father. Bayliss Wagner, USA TODAY, 1 Mar. 2021 After a successful career as a lawyer in Chicago, Michelle Obama became the first woman of color to become first lady of the United States in 2008. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 18 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'First Lady.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of First Lady

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About First Lady

Time Traveler for First Lady

Time Traveler

The first known use of First Lady was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Statistics for First Lady

Last Updated

15 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“First Lady.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on First Lady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for First Lady Encyclopedia article about First Lady


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!