Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A young man; a youth.
  • n. Informal A man of any age; a fellow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A boy or young man.
  • n. A jack the lad; a boyo.
  • n. A familiar term of address for a young man.
  • n. A groom who works with horses (also called stable-lad).
  • n. The penis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • p. p. of lead, to guide.
  • n. A boy; a youth; a stripling.
  • n. A companion; a comrade; a mate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A boy; a youth; a stripling: often used familiarly or affectionately in speaking of or to a man of any age.
  • n. A male sweetheart: correlative to lass.
  • n. A servingman; a servant.
  • n. An obsolete preterit and past participle of lead.
  • n. A thong of leather; a shoe-latchet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a male child (a familiar term of address to a boy)
  • n. a boy or man

Etymologies

Middle English ladde, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English ladde ("foot soldier, servant"). Possibly cognate with Dutch lid ("member"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Golden lads and girls all must,
    As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."
    -Cymbeline quotes

    July 29, 2009