Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Characteristic of a well-mannered woman or girl who adheres to traditional norms of propriety and femininity.
  • adjective Appropriate to such a woman or girl, as in being restrained or delicate.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • adjective befitting a woman of good breeding

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

lady +‎ -like

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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

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

    Not the Girl Next Door

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

    Not the Girl Next Door

  • 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.

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