pretty

[prit-ee]
adjective, prettier, prettiest.
1.
pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face.
2.
(of things, places, etc.) pleasing to the eye, especially without grandeur.
3.
pleasing to the ear: a pretty tune.
4.
pleasing to the mind or aesthetic taste: He writes pretty little stories.
5.
(often used ironically) fine; grand: This is a pretty mess!
6.
Informal. considerable; fairly great: This accident will cost him a pretty sum.
7.
Archaic or Scot. brave; hardy.
noun, plural pretties.
8.
Usually, pretties. pretty ornaments, clothes, etc.
9.
a pretty person: Sit down, my pretty.
adverb
10.
fairly or moderately: Her work was pretty good.
11.
quite; very: The wind blew pretty hard.
12.
Informal. prettily.
verb (used with object), prettied, prettying.
13.
to make pretty; improve the appearance of (sometimes followed by up ): to pretty oneself for a party; to pretty up a room.
Idioms
14.
sitting pretty, Informal.
a.
in an advantageous position.
b.
well-to-do; successful.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English prati(e), pratte, prettie cunning, gallant, fine, handsome, pretty; Old English prættig, prettī cunning, derivative of prǣtt a trick, wile (cognate with Dutch part, pret trick, prank, Old Norse prettr trick, prettugr tricky)

prettily, adverb
prettiness, noun
prettyish, adjective
unprettily, adverb
unprettiness, noun
unpretty, adjective


1. See beautiful. 2–4. pleasant. 10. somewhat.


1. ugly.


The qualifying adverb pretty, meaning “fairly or moderately” has been in general use since the late 16th century. Although most common in informal speech and writing, it is far from restricted to them, and often is less stilted than alternatives such as relatively, moderately, and quite.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To prettiest
Collins
World English Dictionary
pretty (ˈprɪtɪ)
 
adj , -tier, -tiest
1.  pleasing or appealing in a delicate or graceful way
2.  dainty, neat, or charming
3.  commendable; good of its kind: he replied with a pretty wit
4.  informal, ironic often excellent, grand, or fine: here's a pretty mess!
5.  informal lacking in masculinity; effeminate; foppish
6.  (Scot) vigorous or brave
7.  an archaic word for elegant
8.  informal a pretty penny a large sum of money
9.  informal sitting pretty well placed or established financially, socially, etc
 
n , -tier, -tiest, -ties
10.  a pretty person or thing
 
adv
11.  informal fairly or moderately; somewhat
12.  informal quite or very
 
vb (often foll by up) , -tier, -tiest, -ties, -ties, -tying, -tied
13.  to make pretty; adorn
 
[Old English prættig clever; related to Middle Low German prattich obstinate, Dutch prettig glad, Old Norse prettugr cunning]
 
'prettily
 
adv
 
'prettiness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

pretty
O.E. prættig (W.Saxon), *prettig (Mercian) "cunning, skillful, artful," from prætt, *prett "a trick, wile, craft," from W.Gmc. *pratt- (cf. O.N. prettr "a trick," prettugr "tricky;" Fris. pret, M.Du. perte, Du. pret "trick, joke," Du. prettig "sportive, funny," Flem. pertig "brisk, clever").
Connection between O.E. and M.E. words is uncertain, but if they are the same, meaning had shifted by c.1400 to "manly, gallant," and later moved via "attractive, skillfully made," to "fine," to "beautiful in a slight way" (1440). For sense evolution, compare nice, silly. Used to qualify adjectives and adverbs ("moderately") since 1565. As a verb (usually with up) it is attested from 1916. Prettily is from c.1400; prettify first recorded 1850. Pretty-boy is attested from 1885. A pretty penny "lot of money" is first recorded 1768.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Some of the prettiest snow crystals are the ones that have this little hexagon
  shaped ice prism as their foundation.
Catfish, as seen in nature, are not the prettiest creatures.
Blennies aren't the prettiest of nature's creatures.
Seeing friends and hanging out in one of the prettiest settings makes the event
  memorable year after year.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature