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 referenceshow the lady to a seat or usually in the plural in addressladies 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


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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 But before Gwen made a decision, the other coaches were given a chance to reflect on the performances—and Blake used that time to share some touching words about his lady. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Gushed About Gwen Stefani on 'The Voice' and Now We're Crying Again," 5 Nov. 2019 Shot on location among the stunning villas and gardens of Sintra, Portugal, Frankie gave its leading ladies plenty of opportunities for some on-set bonding. Vogue, "Inside the Premiere of Frankie With Isabelle Huppert and Marisa Tomei," 16 Oct. 2019 After the feast, the bride was undressed by her ladies and put to bed. Brian Fagan, Quartzy, "The bizarre 77,000-year history of beds," 4 Oct. 2019 Peter Weber has already narrowed down his ladies to the top 15 (feels like his season has gone by incredibly quickly, right??) and included in that number is contestant Victoria Fuller. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Is Victoria Fuller, Who Just Had a Very Awkward Date With 'Bachelor' Peter?," 3 Oct. 2019 Kenyon College’s mascot is, technically, a lord (or a lady), its logo a purple shield featuring the family coat of arms of one English noble who helped establish the Ohio school in 1824. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Cat With a Campus Wrapped Around His Paw," 27 Sep. 2019 Hustlers marks career highs for both of its leading ladies, Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Hustlers earns Jennifer Lopez a career high opening with $33.2 million debut," 15 Sep. 2019 In a city famous for its ladies of the evening, Belle Cora stood at the pinnacle of scarlet success. Gary Kamiya,, "San Francisco love story: A hooker, her gambling man and a hanging," 23 Aug. 2019 Torrid For all my curvy ladies out there, Torrid is a great online shopping destination that has all your style needs covered. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "19 stores having incredible sales on clothing, shoes, and more this week," 12 Aug. 2019

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


How to pronounce lady (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lady

: a woman who behaves in a polite way
: a woman of high social position
informal : a man's girlfriend


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 titleLady Jane Grey

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More from Merriam-Webster on lady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lady

Spanish Central: Translation of lady

Nglish: Translation of lady for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lady for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lady

Comments on lady

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

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