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

Definition of ladylike

1 : becoming or suitable to a lady
2 : resembling a lady in appearance or manners : well-bred
3a : feeling or showing too much concern about elegance or propriety ladylike embarrassment at not being the wife of a real doctor— Lewis Vogler
b : lacking in strength, force, or virility

Examples of ladylike in a Sentence

encouraging young women to be more ladylike

Recent Examples on the Web

There is this notion that women should be more ladylike, and that is a benevolently sexist kind of ideal. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Here's what's behind criticism of U.S. women and World Cup celebrations," 15 June 2019 Vogueworld Chloë Sevigny Perfects the Downtown Slingback Last night, at Chanel’s annual Artists Dinner at Balthazar for the Tribeca Film Festival, Chloë Sevigny wore a ladylike look with her signature downtown spin. Vogue, "Chloë Sevigny Perfects the Downtown Slingback," 30 Apr. 2019 Go for low-profile accessories like slim cat-eye sunglasses and a little-but-ladylike bag. Nicola Fumo, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Chic Looks You Can Wear to Work and on the Weekend," 18 Mar. 2019 The Ruling Clasp Fall’s ladylike spirit extends into handbags with a focus on proper flap bags with metallic logo clasps. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "The 8 Best Accessory Trends of Fall 2019," 14 Mar. 2019 Base your outfit around ladylike staples and a little something extra, like classic black slingbacks with a festive bow and a camel coat in a fun teddy texture. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "What to Pack for Every Type of Holiday Trip," 21 Dec. 2018 The chunky brown ankle boots, with a slight heel, stitching detail and eyelet laces are a completely different style for the typically feminine and ladylike Duchess of Cambridge. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Chose Skinny Jeans and Cool Chloé Boots for Her First 2019 Royal Engagement," 15 Jan. 2019 Clothing trends moved toward edgy, casual looks, away from Mr. Wu’s demure, ladylike styles. Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "The Reinvention of Jason Wu—and What It Means for American Fashion," 6 Feb. 2019 Alessandra Rich, Burberry, and Gucci all presented their options on the ladylike silhouette. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Rania of Jordan Already Has the Must-Have Skirt You’ll Be Wearing Next Spring," 17 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of ladylike

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ladylike

Dictionary Entries near ladylike







Lady Luck

Statistics for ladylike

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ladylike

The first known use of ladylike was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ladylike



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

More from Merriam-Webster on ladylike

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ladylike

Comments on ladylike

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


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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