ladies and gentlemen

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ladies and gentlemen (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) Used to address an audience.
    • 1996, The Cambridge History of American Literature, volume 8, Poetry and criticism, 1940-1995 (edited by Sacvan Bercovitch), page 408:
      [] a Master of Ceremonies' words "Ladies and gentlemen" [] interpellates those being addressed as an audience, and one that is differentiated by gender.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Use is so idiomatic that even unisex audiences are sometimes addressed this way, though "ladies" or "gentlemen" would be more correct.
  • The forms "lady and gentlemen" and "ladies and gentleman" are rarely used even when strictly correct.
  • Nearly always used with "ladies" before "gentlemen", as opposed to "gentlemen and ladies".