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orderly

[awr-der-lee]
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adjective
  1. arranged or disposed in a neat, tidy manner or in a regular sequence: an orderly desk.
  2. observant of or governed by system or method, as persons or the mind.
  3. characterized by or observant of law, rule, or discipline; well-behaved; law-abiding: an orderly assemblage of citizens.
  4. pertaining to or charged with the communication or execution of orders.
adverb
  1. methodically; regularly.
  2. according to established order or rule.
noun, plural or·der·lies.
  1. Military. an enlisted soldier assigned to perform various chores for a commanding officer or group of officers.
  2. a hospital attendant having general, nonmedical duties.

Origin of orderly

1470–80 as adv.; 1570–80 as adj.; 1795–1805 as noun; order + -ly
Related formsor·der·li·ness, nounun·or·der·ly, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 2. Orderly, methodical, systematic characterize that which is neat, in order, and planned. These three words are sometimes used interchangeably. However, orderly emphasizes neatness of arrangement: an orderly array of books. Methodical suggests a logical plan, a definite order of actions or method from beginning to end: a methodical examination. Systematic suggests thoroughness, an extensive and detailed plan, together with regularity of action: a systematic review.

Antonyms

1. chaotic, disorderly, haphazard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for orderlies

Historical Examples

  • Orderlies were going about, carrying out linens, emptying pans.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Harris, coming up with the orderlies, found the old negro at his mare's bridle.

    The Long Roll

    Mary Johnston

  • In the morning, one of the colonel's orderlies was told to fetch Lisle.

  • There was straw on the stone floors and two surgeons and some orderlies.

  • Orderlies were not sent out at that hour of the morning unless the cause was pressing.

    Bamboo Tales

    Ira L. Reeves


British Dictionary definitions for orderlies

orderly

adjective
  1. in order, properly arranged, or tidy
  2. obeying or appreciating method, system, and arrangement
  3. harmonious or peaceful
  4. military of or relating to ordersan orderly book
adverb
  1. rare according to custom or rule
noun plural -lies
  1. med a male hospital attendant
  2. military a junior rank detailed to carry orders or perform minor tasks for a more senior officer
Derived Formsorderliness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for orderlies

orderly

n.

"military attendant who carries orders," 1781, short for orderly corporal, etc. Extended 1809 to an attendant at a hospital (originally a military hospital) charged with keeping things in order and clean. See orderly (adj.).

orderly

adj.

"arranged in order," 1570s, from order (n.) + -ly (1).

orderly

adv.

late 15c., "in due order," from order + -ly (2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

orderlies in Medicine

orderly

(ôrdər-lē)
n.
  1. An attendant in a hospital.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.