la·dy·like | \ ˈlā-dē-ˌlīk \

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

Her mannish mixed-print shirt was a cool foil to her ladylike split skirt. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Rita Ora Debuts a New Look in Prada's Front Row," 23 Feb. 2018 Following her wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle's style at official royal events has been decidedly ladylike. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wears a Chic Black Suit on Her Second Day in Ireland," 11 July 2018 Today in Benidorm, Spain, Her Majesty took a different tack with her wardrobe, leading the celebration for International Deafblind Day in a ladylike alternative to the shirtdress that took cocktail dressing into daytime. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Letizia of Spain Has a Posh Alternative to the Summer Shirtdress," 27 June 2018 What could be more ladylike than the way a pair of stilettos or pumps or even wedges can lengthen the leg and swagger the hips and add an element of danger to the ground beneath one’s feet? Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "What High Heels Can Teach About Gendered ‘Truths’," 26 June 2018 Evoke elements of mystery, and tease with semi-sheer elements that feel too feminine to be risqué, but have a ladylike way of commanding a second look. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "This is How to Dress For Your Wedding After Party," 7 Dec. 2017 Carrying the ladylike bag that Dior-philes flock to in looks from the Pre-Fall collection, Cotillard is shot in various stages of dance by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Marion Cotillard is Back As Lady Dior," 24 Mar. 2014 Williams' garments have emphasized precise structure or flowing design, but always maintain a ladylike sense of style. Mary Colurso,, "Birmingham native wins $100,000 on 'Project Runway All Stars'," 6 Apr. 2018 Apparently, something demure, ladylike and delicate–with a hint of edge in sheer elements and an off-the-shoulder neckline. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need to Know About Anastasia Steele's Wedding Gown in Fifty Shades Freed," 6 Feb. 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

28 Aug 2018

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 \

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

See 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).


by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!