a woman who is refined, polite, and well-spoken: She may be poor and have little education, but she's a real lady.
a woman of high social position or economic class: She was born a lady and found it hard to adjust to her reduced circumstances.
any woman; female (sometimes used in combination): The lady who answered the phone sounded a little stressed.There was a really nice saleslady at the counter who gave me some advice on what to buy.
(used in direct address: usually offensive in the singular): Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.Lady, out of my way, please.
wife: The ambassador and his lady arrived late.
Slang. a female lover or steady companion.
Lady, (in Great Britain) the proper title of any woman whose husband is higher in rank than baronet or knight, or who is the daughter of a nobleman not lower than an earl (although the title is given by courtesy also to the wives of baronets and knights).
a woman who has proprietary rights or authority, as over a manor; female feudal superior.: Compare lord (def. 4).
Lady, the Virgin Mary.
a woman who is the object of chivalrous devotion.
Usually Lady .
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.
An approach that is increasingly followed is to avoid specifying the gender of the performer or practitioner. Person or a gender-neutral term can be substituted for lady, such as cleaner for cleaning lady and sales associate or salesclerk for saleslady. When circumstances make it relevant to specify gender, 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. The adjectives male and female can also be used: I feel more comfortable with a female gynecologist, but my sister prefers to see a male one. See also -person, -woman.
- la·dy·hood, noun
- la·dy·ish, adjective
- la·dy·ish·ly, adverb
- la·dy·ish·ness, noun
- la·dy·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use lady in a sentence
Some of her early songs were so pointedly feminist that radio stations wouldn’t play them, yet she also wrote one of history’s only known songs about PMS, a look-out-fellas-ladies-be-crazy deep cut that, unlike most of her work, has not aged well.‘Dolly Parton, Songteller’ is a gold mine of little-seen photos and personal anecdotes | Allison Stewart | November 30, 2020 | Washington Post
The lady who lived across the hall had gone to see her daughter in Georgia, and now she was stuck there while all her things were here.“We Don’t Even Know Who Is Dead or Alive”: Trapped Inside an Assisted Living Facility During the Pandemic | by Ava Kofman | November 30, 2020 | ProPublica
A week or two later, I told the dog's owner how scared my kids are to go by their house — not because of the dog, but because of the "mean scary lady."Miss Manners: Do the right thing, even though neighbor is in the wrong | Judith Martin, Nicholas Martin, Jacobina Martin | November 30, 2020 | Washington Post
The only woman indicted in the 20-year history of the International Criminal Court is Simone Gbagbo, the former first lady of Cote d’Ivoire.Why It’s Important To See Women As Capable … Of Terrible Atrocities | LGBTQ-Editor | November 21, 2020 | No Straight News
Honorifics should be used on envelopes, and widowhood does not change the lady’s form of address.
I wonder what that lady is doing now, and if she knows what she set in motion with Archer?‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS | Marlow Stern | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
lady Edith is so sad that her sadness nearly set the whole damned house on fire.‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith | Kevin Fallon | January 5, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Real-Life ‘Downton’ Millionairesses Who Changed BritainBy Tim Teeman lady Grantham of ‘Downton Abbey’ is far from an anomaly.Six Must-Read Stories About Gay Mormon Husbands and Iranian Drug Wars | The Daily Beast | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
lady Rose is also rather subdued in the premiere, which is a pity.
“Officers had to go stop an elderly lady from being assaulted,” Sgt. Houston said.Texas Gun Slingers Police the Police—With a Black Panthers Tactic | Brandy Zadrozny | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
The lady in black was reading her morning devotions on the porch of a neighboring bathhouse.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Grandmamma sits in her quaint arm-chair— Never was lady more sweet and fair!
The young lady, hearing his step, turned round and stood on the stair, confronting him fiercely.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
See the ease and grace of the lady in the sacque, who sits on the bank there, under the myrtles, with the guitar on her lap!Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
At another time her affections were deeply engaged by a young gentleman who visited a lady on a neighboring plantation.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
British Dictionary definitions for lady (1 of 2)
a woman regarded as having the characteristics of a good family and high social position
a polite name for a woman
(as modifier): a lady doctor
British Dictionary definitions for Lady (2 of 2)
(in Britain) a title of honour borne by various classes of women of the peerage
my lady a term of address to holders of the title Lady, used esp by servants
Our Lady a title of the Virgin Mary
archaic an allegorical prefix for the personifications of certain qualities: Lady Luck
mainly British the term of address by which certain positions of respect are prefaced when held by women: Lady Chairman
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