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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The 18-year-old wore her hair in a poker-straight lob, with cherry red lip and nails for a ladylike pop of color. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 19 Jan. 2023 Ruffles are always a Derby do, and this off the shoulder option will show off those shoulders in ladylike style. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 3 Jan. 2023 These friends in fundraising have done things in a ladylike way. Dallas News, 6 May 2022 Ruffles offer a ladylike touch to this teal jumpsuit. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, 7 Dec. 2022 This season’s newest bag shape is a ladylike geometric rectangle. Irene Kim, Vogue, 15 Oct. 2022 Quilted with an elegant tie waist and delightful stripes of paisley, this piece is at once subtle and ladylike. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 20 Sep. 2022 Jisoo was ladylike in a sheer gown, and Jennie went for hot girl vibes in a cutout black crop top and long skirt. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 28 Aug. 2022 These can be dressed up with a ladylike heel and work bag or pared down with an office-appropriate sneaker. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 23 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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 28 Jan. 2023.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ladylike

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Fashionable Words

  • dog-sunglasses-scarf
  • Which of these items is named for a deadly weapon?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY