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la·dy  (ld)
n. pl. la·dies
1. A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior.
a. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous.
b. A well-behaved young girl.
3. A woman who is the head of a household.
4. A woman, especially when spoken of or to in a polite way.
a. A woman to whom a man is romantically attached.
b. Informal A wife.
6. Lady Chiefly British A general feminine title of nobility and other rank, specifically:
a. Used as the title for the wife or widow of a knight or baronet.
b. Used as a form of address for a marchioness, countess, viscountess, baroness, or baronetess.
c. Used as a form of address for the wife or widow of a baron.
d. Used as a courtesy title for the daughter of a duke, a marquis, or an earl.
e. Used as a courtesy title for the wife of a younger son of a duke or marquis.
7. Lady The Virgin Mary. Usually used with Our.
8. Slang Cocaine.

[Middle English, mistress of a household, from Old English hlfdige; see dheigh- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: Lady is normally used as a parallel to gentleman to emphasize norms expected in polite society or in situations requiring courtesies: Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. I believe the lady in front of the counter was here before me. The attributive use of lady, as in lady doctor, is offensive and outdated. When the sex of the person is relevant, the preferred modifier is woman or female. Twice as many members of the Usage Panel in our 1994 survey preferred female and male to woman and man as modifiers in the sentence President Clinton interviewed both ______ and ______ candidates for the position of Attorney General.

lady  /ledi/  n. -dies 1 (polite word for) a woman, esp. of good social standing: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please. 2 a title for women of British nobility: Lady Walpole visited the Queen. lady

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