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

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Synonyms for lady


female, skirt [slang], 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

As soon as Ronson began his set, the after-party went from ladies with handbags and passed canapés to a downright EDM music festival. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "Emma Stone, Ruth Negga, and Jennifer Connelly Pulled an All-Nighter at the Louis Vuitton Cruise After-Party," 9 May 2019 Or perhaps your father, always something of a begrudging recipient of his own status, has chosen to spare you, instead opting for a simple lord or lady. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "An Open Letter to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's New Royal Baby," 7 May 2019 Which just leaves everyone’s favorite lady of the hour, Hetty. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'NCIS: Los Angeles' Is Returning for Season 11, But Is Anyone Leaving the Cast?," 28 Apr. 2019 Margaret had a special place in her heart for this special young lady. Hartford Courant,, "Margaret C. Remotti," 10 July 2018 Sorry ladies, but Jordan seems to be very much in love with his girlfriend Ellie Woods. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Who is Jordan Fisher? Everything You Need to Know About "TATBILB"’s New John Ambrose," 1 Apr. 2019 The ladies in question: Russian supermodel Irina Shayk, Chinese actress Maggie Jiang, Korean actress Jung Eun-Chaem, and Japanese model-actress Nana Eikura. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Tod's Reimagines an Iconic Design With the D-Styling Handbag," 29 Mar. 2019 Nestled in Monterey, California with panoramic views of the ocean, these ladies live the good life (not counting the insane drama, of course). Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Huge Mansions in Big Little Lies Are Actually Filled With Discount Pieces," 14 Mar. 2019 Leave it to a boss lady who built her business on pampering to extend the experience far beyond the salon. Amber Kallor, Allure, "Olive & June's New Tool Made Painting My Nails at Home So Much Easier," 14 Mar. 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



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 title Lady Jane Grey

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More from Merriam-Webster on lady

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lady

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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