from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A woman of high social standing or refinement, especially when viewed as dignified or well-mannered.
  • noun A woman who is the head of a household.
  • noun A woman, especially when spoken of or to in a polite way.
  • noun Used as a form of address for a woman, often with sarcasm or irritation.
  • noun A woman who is the object of romantic or chivalrous love.
  • noun Informal A wife or girlfriend.
  • noun A lady in waiting.
  • noun A general feminine title of nobility and other rank, specifically as the title for the wife or widow of a knight or baronet.
  • noun Used as a form of address for a woman of high rank, especially for a marchioness, countess, viscountess, baroness, or baronetess.
  • noun The Virgin Mary. Usually used with Our.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In astrology, a term designating the planet Venus when in the circumstances under which, if a masculine planet, she would be termed lord: as, lady of the ascendant.
  • noun A woman who has authority over a manor or family; the mistress of a household: the feminine correlative to lord.
  • noun Specifically, in Great Britain, the proper title of any woman whose husband is higher in rank than baronet or knight, or who is the daughter of a nobleman not lower than an earl, though the title is given by courtesy also to the wives of baronets and knights; also, the feminine title correlative originally to Lord, and now also to Sir.
  • noun In the days of chivalry, the woman chosen by a knight or squire as the object of his especial service, his feats of arms being done in her honor, and his success ascribed to her influence.
  • noun A woman of good family and of established social position, or one accepted as such: a restricted sense correlative to gentleman in like use.
  • noun A woman of good breeding, education, and refinement of mind and manner: a general sense correlative to gentleman in like use: in common speech used indiscriminately as a synonym for woman (a use generally vulgar, and to be avoided except in address). See gentleman, 4.
  • noun A wife; a man's spouse: used in this sense always with direct reference to the husband: as, John Smith and lady.
  • noun A sweetheart.
  • noun A slate measuring about 16 inches long by 10 broad.
  • noun The calcareous apparatus in the cardiac part of the stomach of the lobster, the function of which is the trituration of the food.
  • Of a lady; ladylike.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Belonging or becoming to a lady; ladylike.
  • noun A woman who looks after the domestic affairs of a family; a mistress; the female head of a household.
  • noun A woman having proprietary rights or authority; mistress; -- a feminine correlative of lord.
  • noun A woman to whom the particular homage of a knight was paid; a woman to whom one is devoted or bound; a sweetheart.
  • noun A woman of social distinction or position. In England, a title prefixed to the name of any woman whose husband is not of lower rank than a baron, or whose father was a nobleman not lower than an earl. The wife of a baronet or knight has the title of Lady by courtesy, but not by right.
  • noun A woman of refined or gentle manners; a well-bred woman; -- the feminine correlative of gentleman.
  • noun A wife; -- not now in approved usage.
  • noun Any woman; ; also used in combination.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The triturating apparatus in the stomach of a lobster; -- so called from a fancied resemblance to a seated female figure. It consists of calcareous plates.
  • noun a man who affects the society of ladies.
  • noun an altar in a lady chapel.
  • noun a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
  • noun the court of a lady of the manor.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a handsomely spotted swimming crab (Platyonichus ocellatus) very common on the sandy shores of the Atlantic coast of the United States.
  • noun (Bot.) See Female fern, under Female, and Illust. of Fern.
  • noun a lady of the queen's household, appointed to wait upon or attend the queen.
  • noun a Mass said in honor of the Virgin Mary.
  • noun a lady having jurisdiction of a manor; also, the wife of a manor lord.
  • noun a maidservant who dresses and waits upon a lady.
  • noun the Virgin Mary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical The mistress of a household.
  • noun A woman of breeding or higher class, a woman of authority.
  • noun The feminine of lord.
  • noun A title for someone married to a lord.
  • noun A title for somebody married to a gentleman.
  • noun A title that can be used instead of the formal terms of marchioness, countess, viscountess or baroness.


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

[Middle English, mistress of a household, from Old English hlǣfdige; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lady, laddy, lafdi, lavedi, from Old English hlǣfdīġe ("mistress of a household, wife of a lord, lady", literally "bread-kneader"), from hlāf ("bread") + dīġe ("maid"), related to Old English dǣġe ("maker of dough"). Compare also lord. More at loaf, dairy, dough.


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  • maker of the dough

    February 11, 2007

  • October 20, 2007