lady

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See also: Lady, lądy, and łady

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

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, loaf) + dīġe (kneader), related to Old English dǣġe (maker of dough) (whence dey (dairymaid)). Compare also lord. More at loaf, dairy, dough. Unrelated to lad.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

lady (plural ladies)

  1. (historical) The mistress of a household.
  2. A woman of breeding or higher class, a woman of authority.
    "I would like the dining room to be fully set by tonight; would you do so?" "Yes, my lady".
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 6, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘[…] I remember a lady coming to inspect St. Mary's Home where I was brought up and seeing us all in our lovely Elizabethan uniforms we were so proud of, and bursting into tears all over us because “it was wicked to dress us like charity children”. […]’.
  3. The feminine of lord.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 283, column 2:
      Of all theſe bounds euen from this Line, to this, / With ſhadowie Forreſts, and with Champains rich’d / With plenteous Riuers, and wide-ſkirted Meades / We make thee Lady.
    • 1848, James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfaul, 6th edition, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, published 1858:
      ’T was the proudest hall in the North Countree,
      And never its gates might opened be,
      Save to lord or lady of high decree []
  4. A title for someone married to a lord or gentleman.
  5. A title that can be used instead of the formal terms of marchioness, countess, viscountess, or baroness.
  6. (polite or used by children) A woman: an adult female human.
    Please direct this lady to the soft furnishings department.
  7. (in the plural) A polite reference or form of address to women.
    Ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here today. Follow me, ladies!
  8. (slang) Used to address a female.
    Hey, lady, move your car!
    Hey, ladies, how are you doing?
  9. (ladies' or ladies) Toilets intended for use by women.
  10. (informal) A wife or girlfriend; a sweetheart.
  11. A woman to whom the particular homage of a knight was paid; a woman to whom one is devoted or bound.
    • 1666, Edmund Waller, “Instructions to a Painter”, in The Works of Edmund Walker[2], Dublin: W. G. Jones, published 1768, page 154:
      The ſoldier here his waſted ſtore ſupplies,
      And takes new valor from the Ladies’ eyes.
  12. (slang) A queen (the playing card).
  13. (attributive, with a professional title) Who is a woman.
    A lady doctor.
  14. (Wicca) Alternative form of Lady.
  15. The triturating apparatus in the stomach of a lobster, consisting of calcareous plates; so called from a fancied resemblance to a seated female figure.
  16. (UK, slang) A five-pound note. (Rhyming slang, Lady Godiva for fiver.)
  17. (slang, chiefly in the plural) A woman’s breast.
  18. (chess, slang, rare) A queen.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

Verb[edit]

lady (third-person singular simple present ladies, present participle ladying, simple past and past participle ladied)

  1. To address as “lady”.
    • 1897, Macmillan’s Magazine, page 13, column 1:
      [] When I am dead ye’ll mind I said it, my leddy.” “Ah, Elspeth, but do not lady me; say Christine, just wee Christine. []
    • 1906, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine: A Popular Journal of General Literature, page 374:
      “I thought you would never come, Lady Mary,” and he kissed her again. “Why will you persist in ladying me? Have I not told you—stop, now, will you?” and she pushed his mouth away. “Have I not told you as many times as you have seen me to call me Mary only?”
    • 1928, The Letters of Mary Nisbet of Dirleton, Countess of Elgin, New York, N.Y.: D Appleton and Company, page 276:
      I see Bey still continues jealous of poor Mou; does she still go by that name? In Greek it means “my” and her Paramanas always called her Lady Mary Mou, so we called her Mou. I hope you admire my teaching you Greek. I beg you will break Bruce of ladying her, if it should grow up with him it would be detestable.
    • 2006, Jim Butcher, Cursor’s Fury: Book Three of the Codex Alera, New York, N.Y.: Ace Books, page 658:
      ‘Then, Lady Placida, there is something I wish to ask of you.’ ‘Only,’ she said sternly, ‘if you stop Ladying me. I have a name, dear.’
    • 2013, Brenda Joyce, A Rose in the Storm, Harlequin, →ISBN, page 130:
      “Lady!” “No, do not ‘lady’ me!” Margaret admonished.
    • 2018, Skye MacKinnon, Winter Princess (Daughter of Winter, Book Two), Peryton Press:
      “How can I help, my lady?” “Stop the ladying. []

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English lady, from Middle English lady, from Old English hlǣfdīġe.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lady f (plural ladies or ladys)

  1. lady (wife of a British lord; important woman, usually British)
    Synonyms: dame, madame

Further reading[edit]


Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English lady.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lady f (invariable)

  1. lady (wife of a lord; important woman)

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ lady in Luciano Canepari, Dizionario di Pronuncia Italiana (DiPI)

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English hlǣfdīġe, in turn from hlāf (bread, loaf) + *dīġe (maid).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈlaːdiː(ə)/, /ˈladiː(ə)/
  • (mainly Early ME) IPA(key): /ˈlavdiː(ə)/

Noun[edit]

lady (plural ladies, genitive ladies or lady)

  1. A woman with authority or leadership:
    1. A lady (mistress of a household)
      • c. 1382, John Wycliffe, transl., Wycliffe's Bible, Genesis 16:7–9:
        And whanne the aungel of the Lord hadde foundun hir biside the welle of water in wildirnes, the which is in the / weye of Sur in desert, he seide to hir, Agar, the hand mayden of Saray, whens comyst thow, and whithir gost thow? / The which answeride, Fro the face of Saray my ladi I flee.
        (please add an English translation of this quote)
    2. A lady (noblewoman or female monarch).
    3. A woman who manages an abbey or inn.
  2. The wife of a noble or monarch.
  3. A polite way to address a noble or honoured woman.
  4. (by extension) Any woman.
  5. A female deity (or the Virgin Mary).

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]


Polish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lady f

  1. inflection of lada:
    1. genitive singular
    2. nominative/accusative/vocative plural

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English lady.

Noun[edit]

lady f (plural lady)

  1. lady

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unadapted borrowing from English lady.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈleidi/, [ˈlei̯.ð̞i]

Noun[edit]

lady f (plural ladies)

  1. lady (wife of a lord; important woman)

Usage notes[edit]

According to Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) prescriptions, unadapted foreign words should be written in italics in a text printed in roman type, and vice versa, and in quotation marks in a manuscript text or when italics are not available. In practice, this RAE prescription is not always followed.

Further reading[edit]