follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

pretty

[prit-ee] /ˈprɪt i/
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.
  1. in an advantageous position.
  2. well-to-do; successful.
Origin
1000
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)
Related forms
prettily, adverb
prettiness, noun
prettyish, adjective
unprettily, adverb
unprettiness, noun
unpretty, adjective
Synonyms
1. See beautiful. 2–4. pleasant. 10. somewhat.
Antonyms
1. ugly.
Usage note
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.

sitting

[sit-ing] /ˈsɪt ɪŋ/
noun
1.
the act of a person or thing that sits.
2.
a period of remaining seated, as in posing for a portrait or reading a book.
3.
the space on or in which one sits, as in a church.
4.
a brooding, as of a hen upon eggs; incubation.
5.
the number of eggs on which a bird sits during a single hatching; clutch.
6.
a session, as of a court or legislature.
7.
the time or space allotted to the serving of a meal to a group, as aboard a ship.
adjective
8.
(of a bird) occupying a nest of eggs for hatching.
9.
of, for, or suited to sitting:
a sitting area in the lobby.
10.
holding an official position or office; occupying an appointed or elected seat; incumbent:
a sitting pontiff.
11.
in session or at work; active:
a sitting legislature.
Idioms
12.
sitting pretty, in an auspicious position:
He's been sitting pretty since he got that new job.
Origin
1175-1225; Middle English; see sit1, -ing1, -ing2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sitting pretty

pretty

/ˈprɪtɪ/
adjective -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, often ironic) 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
noun (pl) -ties
10.
a pretty person or thing
adverb
11.
(informal) fairly or moderately; somewhat
12.
(informal) quite or very
verb -ties, -tying, -tied
13.
(transitive) often foll by up. to make pretty; adorn
Derived Forms
prettily, adverb
prettiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English prættig clever; related to Middle Low German prattich obstinate, Dutch prettig glad, Old Norse prettugr cunning

sitting

/ˈsɪtɪŋ/
noun
1.
a continuous period of being seated I read his novel at one sitting
2.
such a period in a restaurant, canteen, etc, where space and other facilities are limited dinner will be served in two sittings
3.
the act or period of posing for one's portrait to be painted, carved, etc
4.
a meeting, esp of an official body, to conduct business
5.
the incubation period of a bird's eggs during which the mother sits on them to keep them warm
adjective
6.
in office a sitting Member of Parliament
7.
(of a hen) brooding eggs
8.
seated in a sitting position
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sitting pretty
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
sitting pretty in Culture

sitting pretty definition


In a favorable position: “Abby finally got that promotion, and now she's sitting pretty.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for sitting pretty

pretty

adverb

Quite; more than a little: The weather's pretty rotten (1565+)

Related Terms

be sitting pretty


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
sitting pretty in the Bible

the attitude generally assumed in Palestine by those who were engaged in any kind of work. "The carpenter saws, planes, and hews with his hand-adze, sitting on the ground or upon the plank he is planning. The washerwoman sits by the tub; and, in a word, no one stands when it is possible to sit. Shopkeepers always sit, and Levi sitting at the receipt of custom (Matt. 9:9) is the exact way to state the case.", Thomson, Land and Book.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with sitting pretty
In an advantageous position; also, financially well off. For example, The terms of the will left Mary sitting pretty. Although the use of pretty in the sense of “advantageous” is much older, this colloquialism dates only from the early 1900s. It was given extra currency as the title of two different musicals, Sittin' Pretty (M. Moore, 1921) and Sitting Pretty (G. Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, 1924).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for pretty

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sitting

8
10
Scrabble Words With Friends