American English

Definition of lady noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. ladies)
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  1. 1[countable] a word used to mean “woman” that some people, especially older people, consider is more polite There's a lady waiting to see you. He was with an attractive young lady. the ladies' golf championship a cleaning lady (= a woman who cleans an office or a private home) (approving) She's a tough lady. a lady doctor/golfer Some women object to the way lady is used in some of these examples and prefer it to be avoided if possible:a doctor/a woman doctorThere's someone waiting to see you. see also bag lady, cleaning lady, first lady, leading lady, old lady
  2. 2[countable] a woman who is polite and well educated, has excellent manners, and always behaves well His wife was a real lady. compare gentleman
  3. 3[countable, usually plural] (formal) used when speaking to or about a girl or woman, especially someone you do not know Can I take your coats, ladies? Could I have your attention,ladies and gentlemen? Some women do not like ladies used on its own, as in the first example, and prefer it to be left out.
  4. 4[singular] an informal way to talk to a woman, showing a lack of respect Listen, lady, don't shout at me.
  5. 5(also lady friend) [countable] (old-fashioned) a girlfriend Max and his lady went dancing last night.
  6. 6[countable] (old-fashioned) a woman belonging to a high social class the lords and ladies of the court a lady's maid
  7. 7  Lady [countable] a title used by a woman who is a member of the British nobility, or by someone who has been given the titleladyas an honor. The wives and daughters of some members of the nobility and the wives of knights are also calledLady Lady Howe Lady Jane Gray compare lord, sir
  8. 8Our Lady [singular] a title used to refer to Mary, the mother of Christ, especially in the Roman Catholic Church Our Lady of Lourdes
  9. Idioms
    a gentleman/lady/man/woman of leisure (humorous)
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    a man/woman who does not have to work
    it's not over until the fat lady sings (saying)
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    used for saying that a situation may still change, for example that a contest, an election, etc. is not finished yet, and someone still has a chance to win it
    lady of the house (old-fashioned)
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    a woman who is in charge of a household The salesman asked if the lady of the house was at home.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lady