ladies and gentlemen

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ladies and gentlemen pl (plural only)

  1. 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.
  2. (rare and euphemistic) Public toilets: a ladies' room and a gentlemen's room.
    • 1941, Joyce Cary, Herself Surprised, Ch. xliv, p. 108:
      There are quays there and lamps and some squares of grass; a ladies and gentlemen, and a cinema.

Usage notes[edit]

When addressing an audience of all one gender, a speaker would typically use ladies (to women) or gentlemen (to men) instead. Infrequently, speakers may extend the form if other groups are in the audience; for example, "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!".


See also[edit]