Definitions

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

  • adj. Characteristic of a lady; well-bred.
  • adj. Appropriate for or becoming to a lady. See Synonyms at female.
  • adj. Unduly sensitive to matters of propriety or decorum.
  • adj. Lacking virility or strength.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or connected with the appearance or behaviour of a well-mannered woman.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Like a lady in appearance or manners; well-bred.
  • adj. Becoming or suitable to a lady.
  • adj. Delicate; tender; feeble; effeminate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Like a lady in any respect; refined; well-bred: courteous in manner.
  • Applied to men, affected; effeminate.
  • Synonyms Womanly, etc. See feminine.

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

  • adj. befitting a woman of good breeding

Etymologies

lady +‎ -like (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The word ladylike wasn’t in Gaia’s personal dictionary.

    Payback

  • The wife lives to realize the ideal of the "ladylike" -- lady she resigns to the patrician -- and she insists upon a servant, however small.

    Mankind in the Making

  • She has what I can only describe as a ladylike laugh, lips slightly parted, more a smile than a laugh.

    Coffee

  • It may not have been what my mother would have called ladylike, but I missed it.

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • But you could not think of these things pertaining to the Walking Woman, and if there were ever any truth in the exemption from offense residing in a frame of behavior called ladylike, it should have been inoperative here.

    The Walking Woman

  • When first we knew Daisy we used to call her the White Mouse, and her brother had all the appearance of being one too, but you know how untruthful appearances are, or else it was that we taught him happier things, for he certainly turned out quite different in the end; and she was not a bad sort of kid, though we never could quite cure her of wanting to be "ladylike" -- that is the beastliest word there is, I think, and Albert's uncle says so, too.

    New Treasure Seekers or, The Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune

  • A renewed interest in fur has also coincided with a move to dressier, refined fashion, or what Neiman Marcus's fashion director calls "ladylike" clothes.

  • And then there was Prada, which was about taking ladylike things and making them more innocent, which is apparently completely different from taking innocent things and making them more ladylike, which is so two years ago.

    The Guardian World News

  • Mr. Wu, with his polished, lace-trimmed collections, often hears his work described as "ladylike," but his show earlier in the day was a bit risky in that it included some mighty short shorts and transparent outerwear.

    NYT > Home Page

  • They include important thou-shalt-nots such as shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat, but they also include all those courtesies one might call ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.

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