Meaning of “lady” in the English Dictionary

"lady" in British English

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ladynoun

uk /ˈleɪ.di/ us /ˈleɪ.di/

B1 [ C ] a polite or old-fashioned way of referring to or talking to a woman:

There's a young lady here to see you.
Mind your language - there are ladies present!
Say "thank you" to the lady, children.
old-fashioned Is the lady of the house (= the most important or only woman who lives in the house) at home?

[ C ] old-fashioned a woman who behaves in a way that is traditionally considered to be suitable for a woman:

Of course I remember Mrs Connor - she was a real lady.

[ C ] old-fashioned sometimes used before the name of a job done by a woman:

a lady doctor

[ as form of address ] US used to talk to a woman in a way that is not polite and is considered offensive by many women:

Hey, lady, what's the rush?
ladies [ S, + sing/pl verb ] UK US ladies' room

a women's toilet in a public place or building such as a hotel or restaurant:

I'm just going to the ladies.
Is there a ladies on this floor?
ladies and gentlemen

used to talk to the members of the audience when you are making a speech:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our show.

More examples

  • In those days it was considered not quite proper for young ladies to be seen talking to men in public.
  • I was standing waiting for a bus, wedged between two elderly ladies and their bags of shopping.
  • The old lady rented us her spare bedroom for £55 a week.
  • Step aside, please - this lady needs a doctor.
  • Don't speak to me in that tone of voice , young lady!

Ladynoun [ C ]

uk /ˈleɪ.di/ us /ˈleɪ.di/

a title given in the UK to a woman or girl who has the social rank of a peer, or to the wife of a peer or knight:

Lady Diana Spencer
Sir Charles and Lady Finlater
Compare

More examples

  • She was a friend of Lady Churchill.
  • He married Lady Julia.
  • The hospital ward is named after Lady Mary.
  • Lady Smith came to visit my mother.
  • Give the money to Lady Sarah.

(Definition of “lady” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lady" in American English

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ladynoun

us /ˈleɪ·di/

lady noun (WOMAN)

[ C ] a woman who is polite and behaves well toward other people:

Try to act like a lady.

[ C ] Lady is often used as a polite way of addressing or referring to any woman:

This lady has a question.
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention.

[ C ] Lady can be a form of address, sometimes considered rude, to a woman whose name you do not know:

Hey, lady, what’s the rush?

lady noun (TITLE)

[ U ] (in some countries) the title of a woman who has, or is the wife of a man who has, a specially high social rank, or the person herself

(Definition of “lady” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)