Definition of lady noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈleɪdi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈleɪdi//
    (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 (British English) a tea lady (= a woman who serves tea in an office) (North American English, 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, dinner lady, First Lady, lunch 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 somebody 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] (especially North American English) an informal way to talk to a woman, showing a lack of respect Listen, lady, don't shout at me.
  5. 5[countable] (old-fashioned) (in Britain) a woman belonging to a high social class the lords and ladies of the court a lady’s maid
  6. 6 Lady [countable] (in Britain) a title used by a woman who is a member of the nobility, or by somebody who has been given the title lady as an honour. The wives and daughters of some members of the nobility and the wives of knights are also called Lady. Lady Howe Lady Jane Grey compare lord, sir
  7. 7a/the ladies [uncountable] (British English) (North American English ladies’ room [countable]) a toilet/bathroom for women in a public building or place Could you tell me where the ladies is?
  8. 8Our Lady a title used to refer to Mary, the mother of Christ, especially in the Roman Catholic Church Our Lady of Lourdes
  9. Word OriginOld English hlǣfdīge (denoting a woman to whom homage or obedience is due, such as the wife of a lord, also specifically the Virgin Mary), from hlāf ‘loaf’ + a Germanic base meaning ‘knead’, related to dough; compare with lord.Idioms
    a gentleman/lady of leisure
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    (humorous) a man/woman who does not have to work
    it’s not over until the fat lady sings
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    (saying) used for saying that a situation may still change, for example that a contest, election, etc. is not finished yet, and somebody still has a chance to win it
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: lady