noun, plural la·dies.
- an attribute or abstraction personified as a woman; a designation of an allegorical figure as feminine: Lady Fortune; Lady Virtue.
- a title prefixed to the name of a goddess: Lady Venus.
Origin of lady
An approach that is increasingly followed is to avoid specifying the sex of the performer or practitioner. Person or a sex-neutral term can be substituted for lady, as cleaner for cleaning lady and sales associate or salesclerk for saleslady. When circumstances make it relevant to specify sex, woman rather than lady is used, the parallel term being man: Men doctors outnumber women doctors on the hospital staff by more than three to one. See also -person, -woman.
Related Words for ladiesgirl, queen, adult, female, matron, doll, empress, bitch, rib, broad, dame, babe, baroness, petticoat, mistress, noblewoman, bag, missus, sultana, squaw
Examples from the Web for ladies
Contemporary Examples of ladies
As in the past, you can pull up beside some ladies of the night and call them into your car.I Felt Like Showering After the First-Person Sex in ‘Grand Theft Auto’
November 22, 2014
He knew all about cilantro and the best facial cleanses, but in bed and on the kitchen table he was all about the ladies.How Straight World Stole ‘Gay’: The Last Gasp of the ‘Lumbersexual’
November 12, 2014
The second time we went, it was sort of their favorite of the ladies and their favorite of the guys.How Aidy Bryant Stealthily Became Your Favorite ‘Saturday Night Live’ Star
October 31, 2014
Ladies, awful pick-up lines are about to get a whole lot worse.Ladies’ Men Live Longer
October 30, 2014
So just pretend that stuff never happens, would you, ladies?Renee Zellweger’s Fine, But We Need Some Work: The Toxic Pursuit of ‘Effortless’ Beauty
October 22, 2014
Historical Examples of ladies
Ladies, ladies—this is degenerating into a mere hammer-fest.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Ladies should have with them as much jewelry as possible, borrowed or otherwise.
As for my brother, he seemed enchanted with the sight, and especially with the ladies.Explorations in Australia
The gentlemen were smoking, and some of the ladies were trying to look at ease with cigarettes.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
I had almost omitted to add, that he was a ladies' haberdasher.
noun plural -dies
- a polite name for a woman
- (as modifier)a lady doctor
Word Origin for lady
noun plural -dies
plural of lady (q.v.).
c.1200, lafdi, lavede, from Old English hlæfdige "mistress of a household, wife of a lord," literally "one who kneads bread," from hlaf "bread" (see loaf) + -dige "maid," related to dæge "maker of dough" (see dey (1); also compare lord). The medial -f- disappeared 14c. Not found outside English except where borrowed from it.
Sense of "woman of superior position in society" is c.1200; "woman whose manners and sensibilities befit her for high rank in society" is from 1861 (ladylike in this sense is from 1580s, and ladily from c.1400). Meaning "woman as an object of chivalrous love" is from early 14c. Used commonly as an address to any woman since 1890s. Applied in Old English to the Holy Virgin, hence many extended usages in plant names, place names, etc., from genitive singular hlæfdigan, which in Middle English merged with the nominative, so that lady- often represents (Our) Lady's; e.g. ladybug. Ladies' man first recorded 1784. Lady of pleasure recorded from 1640s.