[ awr-der-lee ]
/ ˈɔr dər li /



methodically; regularly.
according to established order or rule.

noun, plural or·der·lies.

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


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.

Related forms

or·der·li·ness, nounun·or·der·ly, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for orderly

British Dictionary definitions for orderly


/ (ˈɔːdəlɪ) /



rare according to custom or rule

noun plural -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

Medicine definitions for orderly


[ ôrdər-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.