noun, often attributive
la·dy | \ ˈlā-dē \
plural ladies

Definition of lady 

1a : a woman having proprietary rights or authority especially as a feudal superior

b : a woman receiving the homage or devotion of a knight or lover

2 capitalized : virgin mary usually used with Our

3a : a woman of superior social position

b : a woman of refinement and gentle manners

c : woman, female often used in a courteous reference show the lady to a seat or usually in the plural in address ladies and gentlemen

5a : any of various titled women in Great Britain used as the customary title of (1) a marchioness, countess, viscountess, or baroness or (2) the wife of a knight, baronet, member of the peerage, or one having the courtesy title of lord and used as a courtesy title for the daughter of a duke, marquess, or earl

b : a woman who is a member of an order of knighthood — compare dame

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Synonyms for lady


female, woman

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Examples of lady in a Sentence

Her mother was always telling her to act like a lady. He bumped into some lady walking to the bus stop. He helped a little old lady cross the street.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Prince Harry probably jokingly told him to stop flirting with his lady. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kids Couldn't Keep Their Hands Off of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Ireland," 11 July 2018 She was also known as an outstanding bridge player among her lady’s bridge clubs in Ft., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/1," 1 July 2018 Get inspired by some of our favorite fashionable ladies here and then shop out the style below. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Realisation Par’s Leopard Print Skirt Keeps Selling Out," 28 June 2018 Two new food trucks, one by started by a Qualitas cleaning lady, have sprouted up near the property because there wasn’t anywhere nearby for Qualitas staff and visitors to buy lunch. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Remote Texas algae farm grows a food for the future," 27 June 2018 At the spa, Becca meets up with our favorite ladies from Arie's season — Caroline, Seinne, Kendall, Bekah and Tia — to give six lucky guys manicures and pedicures. Mallorie Sullivan,, "'The Bachelorette': NFL free agent Clay Harbor somehow hurts himself playing football," 11 June 2018 My new lady is 19 years my junior, which won’t help the situation. Abigail Van Buren, Houston Chronicle, "Military marriage suffers from frequent separation," 5 June 2018 Friday night lights for our ladies at @freedom_prep_memphis . Christopher Dawson, CNN, "Rugby transforms Memphis teens' lives," 29 May 2018 Its leading ladies, Maeve and Dolores, are flush with power. Sandra Upson, WIRED, "Westworld Recap, Season 2 Episode 5: More Dead Than Alive," 21 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of lady

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lady

Middle English, from Old English hlǣfdige, from hlāf bread + -dige (akin to dǣge kneader of bread) — more at loaf, dairy

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More Definitions for lady



English Language Learners Definition of lady

: a woman who behaves in a polite way

: a woman of high social position

: a man's girlfriend


la·dy | \ ˈlā-dē \
plural ladies

Kids Definition of lady

1 : a woman of high social position

2 : a woman or girl who behaves in a polite way

3 : woman sense 1 The lady behind me was first.

4 : wife

5 : a British noblewoman used as a title Lady Jane Grey

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Comments on lady

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