[ awr-der-lee ]
See synonyms for: orderlyorderliesorderliness on Thesaurus.com

  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.

  1. characterized by or observant of law, rule, or discipline; well-behaved; law-abiding: an orderly assemblage of citizens.

  2. pertaining to or charged with the communication or execution of orders.

  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

First recorded in 1470–80 as adverb; 1570–80 as adjective; 1795–1805 as noun; order + -ly

synonym study For orderly

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.

Opposites for orderly

Other words from orderly

  • or·der·li·ness, noun
  • un·or·der·ly, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use orderly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for orderly


/ (ˈɔːdəlɪ) /

  1. in order, properly arranged, or tidy

  2. obeying or appreciating method, system, and arrangement

  1. harmonious or peaceful

  2. military of or relating to orders: an orderly book

  1. rare according to custom or rule

nounplural -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 forms of orderly

  • 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