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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[awr-der-lee] /ˈɔr dər li/
arranged or disposed in a neat, tidy manner or in a regular sequence:
an orderly desk.
observant of or governed by system or method, as persons or the mind.
characterized by or observant of law, rule, or discipline; well-behaved; law-abiding:
an orderly assemblage of citizens.
pertaining to or charged with the communication or execution of orders.
methodically; regularly.
according to established order or rule.
noun, plural orderlies.
Military. an enlisted soldier assigned to perform various chores for a commanding officer or group of officers.
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 forms
orderliness, noun
unorderly, adjective
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.
1. chaotic, disorderly, haphazard. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for orderlies
Historical Examples
  • If it was so with the orderlies, you can imagine how it was with the poor fellows for whom she was working.

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

    Bamboo Tales Ira L. Reeves
  • Here we had a crazy German doctor, a mediocre French one and Canadian orderlies.

  • In this respect he differs considerably from the majority of orderlies.

    A Yeoman's Letters P. T. Ross
  • In a moment afterwards we met Captain Wessels and the orderlies who had our horses; they were on foot leading the horses.

    The Battle of Gettysburg Frank Aretas Haskell
  • At the other end of the ward sat the two orderlies, drinking wine.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
  • There is one doctor, a nurse, a cook and two orderlies; the dispensary site is very beautiful.

  • They are instantly restored to me by orderlies and my friends among the English.

    The Eyes of Asia Rudyard Kipling
  • Certain men, orderlies or stretcher bearers, would be imprisoned.

    The Backwash of War Ellen N. La Motte
  • You will be accompanied by the two men of the bodyguard, who have come with me as orderlies.

    On the Irrawaddy G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for orderlies


in order, properly arranged, or tidy
obeying or appreciating method, system, and arrangement
harmonious or peaceful
(military) of or relating to orders: an orderly book
(rare) according to custom or rule
noun (pl) -lies
(med) a male hospital attendant
(military) a junior rank detailed to carry orders or perform minor tasks for a more senior officer
Derived Forms
orderliness, 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
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Word Origin and History for orderlies



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


"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.).


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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orderlies in Medicine

orderly or·der·ly (ôr'dər-lē)
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.
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