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.

Nearby words

  1. ordered field,
  2. ordered n-tuple,
  3. ordered pair,
  4. ordered set,
  5. ordering,
  6. orderly marketing agreement,
  7. orderly officer,
  8. orderly room,
  9. orders,
  10. orders, holy

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 formsor·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



in order, properly arranged, or tidy
obeying or appreciating method, system, and arrangement
harmonious or peaceful
military of or relating to ordersan orderly book


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 Formsorderliness, 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

Word Origin and History for orderly
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for orderly




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.