Definition of painted lady in US English:

painted lady

noun

  • 1A migratory butterfly with predominantly orange-brown wings and darker markings.

    Genus Cynthia, subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae: the widely distributed C. cardui, with black-and-white markings, and the American painted lady (C. virginiensis), with markings resembling eyes on the undersides of the wings

    • ‘Alfalfa butterflies, painted ladies, woolly bears and various other species have been abundant all summer.’
    • ‘All the way we were accompanied by electric blue and emerald green damsel flies and along the banks we spotted red admirals, painted ladies, peacocks, and mere common butterflies.’
    • ‘She was lying in the dust beneath a white buddleia, staring straight ahead, sniffing at red admirals and painted ladies as they fluttered past.’
    • ‘A painted lady feeds on the nutrient-rich carcass of a swift fox in western South Dakota.’
    • ‘And I can see monarchs, painted ladies, tiger swallowtails, and listen to the songbirds.’
  • 2usually Painted Lady(in the US, especially San Francisco) a house from the late 19th or early 20th century whose exterior is decorated with three or more colors of paint highlighting its ornate architectural features.

Pronunciation

painted lady

/pān(t)əd ˈlādē/