first lady

noun, often capitalized F&L

Definition of first lady 

1 : the wife or hostess of the chief executive of a country or jurisdiction

2 : the leading woman of an art or profession

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

He and the first lady will attend the funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Rachel Withers, Vox, "George H.W. Bush’s state funeral arrangements: what we know," 3 Dec. 2018 In Malawi, the first lady stuck to cinched beige dresses both for arrival and to visit a school in Lilongwe. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Melania Trump Gave Us All a Valuable Lesson in How Not to Dress in Africa," 9 Oct. 2018 The first lady was followed by the Democratic gubernatorial candidate who hopes to defeat her husband in November: Ben Jealous, the former president of the NAACP. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Savoring the sweet taste of patriotism at Fourth of July parades around Baltimore," 4 July 2018 The first lady spent a little over an hour with the children, most of whom are 12-17 years old and from Guatemala, Huff Post reports. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Melania Trump to Detained Children: "Good Luck"," 21 June 2018 Last weekend, it was reported, the first lady urged the president to do something about the administration’s policy to separate children from their families. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Melania Trump's jacket: Does she really think we don't see the symbolism?," 21 June 2018 The visit was unexpected and unconventional, which is characteristic of the first lady. Mallorie Sullivan,, "Melania Trump wears 'I don't care' jacket on trip to visit immigrant children in Texas," 21 June 2018 Both Melania and President Donald Trump attended the gala last year, but with the President in Singapore for his upcoming summit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, the first lady will attend this year's event solo. Kate Bennett, CNN, "Melania Trump to attend Ford's Theatre gala," 10 June 2018 John’s Bolton handpicked No 2—was shifted away from the White House after a conflict with first lady Melania Trump. Dion Nissenbaum, WSJ, "John Bolton Energizes Trump’s Agenda—And His Own," 18 Nov. 2018

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

Share first lady

Statistics for first lady

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for first lady

The first known use of first lady was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for first lady

first lady


English Language Learners Definition of first lady

: the wife of the U.S. president

: a woman who has great importance, influence, or success in a specified activity or profession

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on first lady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with first lady

Spanish Central: Translation of first lady Encyclopedia article about first lady

Comments on first lady

What made you want to look up first lady? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a pattern of small flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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