la·​dy·​like | \ ˈlā-dē-ˌlīk How to pronounce ladylike (audio) \

Definition of ladylike

1 : of a kind traditionally considered suitable to or attractive for a woman Mrs. Douglas arrived for the March 1st meeting at park headquarters wearing her white spring coat, her ladylike Panama hat, and a single strand of white beads.— Dava Sobel Yves Saint Laurent gives a perfectly proper, ladylike suit a powerful punch by cutting it in python.The New York Times Magazine Charlotte, who is known to be a tomboy, topped off her ladylike look with a matching bow in her hair.— Aurora Bosotti
2 : having or showing the appearance or good manners traditionally associated with aristocratic women her polite, ladylike mother ladylike elegance … it didn't seem quite ladylike to say something like that, straight out.— Katherine Paterson Jill was putting ladylike bites of turnip in her mouth and washing them down with long, quiet sips of water.— Molly Tripp
3 : feeling or showing too much concern about elegance or propriety This plot turns on the sisters' ladylike reluctance to examine the question of their kittens' sex too directly …— June Howard
4 : having qualities traditionally associated with a woman : womanly And Vincent hired a voice coach to teach her to talk like a guy … . Ned also came with a dusting of fake stubble for Vincent's smooth, pink, ladylike cheeks …— Lev Grossman Each step he takes, delicate, cautious, even ladylike, the step, perhaps, of a man whose eyesight is not altogether reliable …— Robert Kantwell

Examples of ladylike in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Just as Linda does here, start with a timeless, sharply tailored blazer, then put a spin on the look with ladylike accessories like lace gloves, a dainty veil, and delicate jewelry. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 26 Aug. 2021 Masks are the ultimate statement piece this year, as well as ladylike hats with a bit of an edge thanks to eye-catching, coordinating prints. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, 8 Dec. 2020 The Sicily bag from Dolce & Gabbana is a classic, ladylike stunner, made even more luxurious by this oversized quilting treatment that softens the structure. Julia Gall, Marie Claire, 12 Nov. 2020 The lack of structure feels really contemporary and fresh, especially from a brand revered for its classic and ladylike accessories. Julia Gall, Marie Claire, 1 Oct. 2020 Thrown together with an equally ladylike blouse, the effect is beautiful and super-confident. Redbook, 20 Sep. 2017 The ladylike handbag came in both cloth with the brand’s signature GG monogram and lambskin, and always included a signature piston strap closure. Eliza Huber,, 2 Mar. 2020 Benson took an entirely different tack in a Chanel zip-front romper from the Resort 2019 collection, strappy sandals, and a ladylike white purse. Vogue, 30 Apr. 2019 The newest take on ladylike dressing takes its inspo from the royals. Marielle Bobo, Essence, 22 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ladylike.' 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 ladylike

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of ladylike was in 1534

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Last Updated

30 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ladylike.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of ladylike

: polite and quiet in a way that has traditionally been considered suited to a woman


la·​dy·​like | \ ˈlā-dē-ˌlīk How to pronounce ladylike (audio) \

Kids Definition of ladylike

: suitable to a woman or girl who behaves in a polite way It was not ladylike to yell like that.— Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie

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