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

This a great group of ladies committed to actively improving life for women in Medina County. Sam Boyer,, "AAUW awards scholarships to two local women: Whit & Whimsey," 7 June 2019 James Middleton has fallen fast for his new lady, French financial expert Alizee Thevenet. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meet Alizee Thevenet, James Middleton's New Girlfriend," 20 May 2019 Now, Blake gushes over his lady at every opportunity and Gwen rarely goes a day without posting about her man on Instagram. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Luke Bryan Was the Ultimate Third Wheel on Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani's Date Night," 28 Apr. 2019 Following Witherspoon's lead, the Australian actress also posted a Galentine's Day Instagram in honor of her fellow ladies of BLL. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Big Little Lies Cast Shared the Sweetest Galentine's Day Instagrams for Each Other," 13 Feb. 2019 Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, Kaling made your imaginations come alive. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Mindy Kaling Went Cotton Candy Blonde for the Met Gala and I'm Not Okay," 6 May 2019 Incidentally, ladies and gentlemen, my son Harry tells me that during their recent tour of Australia, he and his wife were offered countless thoughtful suggestions for the naming of their forthcoming baby. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Charles Just Teased a Potential Name for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Baby," 23 Nov. 2018 Watch a clip of his speech here, then read the full transcript below: Thank you Chrissie, and good evening ladies and gentlemen. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Just Paid Tribute to Prince Charles and His Work in the Fight Against Climate Change," 26 Oct. 2018 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

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).


behavior toward others

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