ladylike

adjective

la·​dy·​like ˈlā-dē-ˌlīk How to pronounce ladylike (audio)
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 For those who favor a more ladylike take on prep, incorporate pastels: Pinks and greens are perennially popular. Maggie Gillette, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Mar. 2024 As a Topper to a Little Black Dress Offset the little black dress and its ladylike accents—an organza head scarf, dainty python handbag and midi mules—with a boxy, waxy design in an olive green. Sarah Zendejas, Vogue, 5 Apr. 2024 Paris's dress is from Giambattista Valli's pre-fall 2023 collection, and features billowy, sheer sleeves, a flowy midi-length skirt, and ladylike bow details at the neckline and the waist. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 28 Mar. 2024 Hawkins has carefully packaged her as a modern Hollywood starlet–ladylike nods to stars of the past like Audrey Hepburn and Dorothy Dandridge have been showcased too. Robyn Mowatt, Essence, 21 Mar. 2024 Structured, ladylike purses look crisp in shades of sky and robin’s egg. MCM, $590, us.mcmworldwide.com.Credit...Mari Maeda and Yuji Oboshi A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2024, Page 66 of T Magazine with the headline: Pale Blue Bags. Mari Maeda and Yuji Oboshi, New York Times, 20 Mar. 2024 All Day leather tote Embossed Elegance A luxe material that wears especially wear, stamped bags of all shapes and sizes lend a ladylike finish to any look. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2024 The sheer black tights and pointed-toe pumps are very ladylike, but no mob-wife look would be complete without that little bit of extra bling, so Rihanna added a flashy diamond anklet. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 25 Jan. 2024 Below, 11 forever-chic ways to master ladylike dressing for spring. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 15 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ladylike.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of ladylike was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near ladylike

Cite this Entry

“Ladylike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ladylike. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

ladylike

adjective
la·​dy·​like ˈlād-ē-ˌlīk How to pronounce ladylike (audio)
1
: resembling a lady in appearance or manners
2
: suitable to a lady
ladylike behavior

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