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 The Obamas hosted the May 2012 unveiling of the portraits of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush. Will Weissert, ajc, 28 July 2022 The Obamas hosted the May 2012 unveiling of the portraits of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush. CBS News, 28 July 2022 Former first lady Michelle Obama has written a new book that will come out on Nov. 15, publisher Penguin Random House said, four years after the release of her bestselling memoir. Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, WSJ, 21 July 2022 Williams graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Spanish and attended Harvard Law School with former first lady Michelle Obama. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 21 July 2022 Hillary Clinton, the former first lady of the United States, also attended the summit. Grayson Quay, The Week, 21 July 2022 Staram has run high-profile events before, helping former first lady Michelle Obama with a book tour and managing President Biden’s inaugural celebrations. Globe Staff,, 5 July 2022 Former first lady Michelle Obama posted a video message on Juneteenth to encourage Americans to register to vote. Amy Haneline, USA TODAY, 20 June 2022 Also appearing at the event are President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Scott, who will perform spoken word. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 19 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of First Lady

1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of First Lady was in 1677

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“First Lady.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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