Meaning of PRETTY in English


— prettily , adv. — prettiness , n. — prettyish , adj.

/prit"ee/ , adj., prettier, prettiest , n. , pl. pretties , adv., v., prettied, prettying .


1. pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face.

2. (of things, places, etc.) pleasing to the eye, esp. 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.


8. Usually, pretties . pretty ornaments, clothes, etc.

9. a pretty person: Sit down, my pretty.


10. fairly or moderately: Her work was pretty good.

11. quite; very: The wind blew pretty hard.

12. Informal. prettily.

13. sitting pretty , Informal.

a. in an advantageous position.

b. well-to-do; successful.


14. to make pretty; improve the appearance of (sometimes fol. by up ): to pretty oneself for a party; to pretty up a room.

[ bef. 1000; ME prati ( e ), pratte, prettie cunning, gallant, fine, handsome, pretty; OE praettig, pretti cunning, deriv. of praett a trick, wile (c. D part, pret trick, prank, ON prettr trick, prettugr tricky) ]

Syn. 1. See beautiful. 2-4. pleasant. 10. somewhat.

Ant. 1. ugly.

Usage . 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.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .