lady

noun, often attributive
la·​dy | \ ˈlā-dē How to pronounce lady (audio) \
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

Synonyms for lady

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
Recent Examples on the Web First lady Jill Biden visited western Ukraine last weekend for a Mother’s Day meeting with Zelenskyy's wife, Olena Zelenska. Lisa Mascaro, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 May 2022 First lady Jill Biden visited western Ukraine last weekend for a Mother’s Day meeting with Zelenskyy's wife, Olena Zelenska. Lisa Mascaro, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 First lady Jill Biden visited western Ukraine last weekend for a Mother's Day meeting with Zelenskyy's wife, Olena Zelenska. Lisa Mascaro, ajc, 15 May 2022 Around the same time Jim and Bruce decided, just for the thrill of lawlessness, to rob an unsuspecting lady walking along a Glasgow street. Barton Swaim, WSJ, 12 May 2022 First lady Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Sunday, meeting with Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, who had not been seen in public since Russia invaded her country on Feb. 24. Harold Maass, The Week, 9 May 2022 First lady Jill Biden greets Olena Zelenska, spouse of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, outside of a public school in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 8 May 2022 First lady Jill Biden’s weekend trip to Eastern Europe will include a Mother’s Day trip to Slovakia’s border with Ukraine, the White House announced Thursday. Mariia Ulianovska, NBC News, 6 May 2022 Swap the lady fingers for Nilla cookies dipped in espresso, then add mascarpone pudding and bananas. Janae Mckenzie, Glamour, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About lady

Time Traveler for lady

Time Traveler

The first known use of lady was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near lady

ladrone

lady

lady's bedstraw

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lady

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lady.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lady. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for lady

lady

noun
la·​dy | \ ˈlā-dē How to pronounce lady (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on lady

Nglish: Translation of lady for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lady for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lady

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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