- pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face.
- (of things, places, etc.) pleasing to the eye, especially without grandeur.
- pleasing to the ear: a pretty tune.
- pleasing to the mind or aesthetic taste: He writes pretty little stories.
- (often used ironically) fine; grand: This is a pretty mess!
- Informal. considerable; fairly great: This accident will cost him a pretty sum.
- Archaic or Scot.. brave; hardy.
- Usually pretties. pretty ornaments, clothes, etc.
- a pretty person: Sit down, my pretty.
- fairly or moderately: Her work was pretty good.
- quite; very: The wind blew pretty hard.
- Informal. prettily.
- to make pretty; improve the appearance of (sometimes followed by up): to pretty oneself for a party; to pretty up a room.
- sitting pretty, Informal.
- in an advantageous position.
- well-to-do; successful.
Origin of pretty
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for prettiest
Tom Brady, the prettiest of pretty boys, leads the Patriots.‘A Gronking to Remember’ Speed Read: 8 Naughtiest Bits
January 7, 2015
That year, she was dubbed the “prettiest photographer in the world” by U.S. Camera magazine.The Queen of the Playboy Centerfolds
May 31, 2014
They also were dubbed “the prettiest boys in rock” for their fashionable image and glamorous music videos shot in exotic locales.Duran Duran on 30th Anniversary of ‘Rio,’ the Olympics, James Bond, and More
July 3, 2012
But even the girl that was the most confident, prettiest girl in my high school was not like some Lolita like a bat out of hell.‘Community’: Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs & Megan Ganz Roundtable
February 28, 2012
She packed her own suitcase for the cruise with all her prettiest clothes.Last Hope for Costa Concordia’s Missing as Ship Tanks Risk Bursting
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 20, 2012
We had supper, and that night was one of the prettiest nights I ever see.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
She had been the prettiest maiden of the Valley, beyond all others.In the Valley
But I still give yours the prettiest, though the other is so dear to me.Night and Morning, Complete
Julia was one of his scholars, and perhaps the prettiest of them all.The Works of Whittier, Volume V (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
This was one of the prettiest sights from the beach at "The Runs."Hetty's Strange History
- pleasing or appealing in a delicate or graceful way
- dainty, neat, or charming
- commendable; good of its kindhe replied with a pretty wit
- informal, often ironic excellent, grand, or finehere's a pretty mess!
- informal lacking in masculinity; effeminate; foppish
- Scot vigorous or brave
- an archaic word for elegant
- a pretty penny informal a large sum of money
- sitting pretty informal well placed or established financially, socially, etc
- a pretty person or thing
- informal fairly or moderately; somewhat
- informal quite or very
- (tr often foll by up) to make pretty; adorn
Word Origin and History for prettiest
Old English prættig (West Saxon), pretti (Kentish), *prettig (Mercian) "cunning, skillful, artful, wily, astute," from prætt, *prett "a trick, wile, craft," from West Germanic *pratt- (cf. Old Norse prettr "a trick," prettugr "tricky;" Frisian pret, Middle Dutch perte, Dutch pret "trick, joke," Dutch prettig "sportive, funny," Flemish pertig "brisk, clever"), of unknown origin.
Connection between Old English and Middle English 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" (mid-15c.). Ironical use from 1530s. For sense evolution, compare nice, silly. Also used of bees (c.1400). "After the OE. period the word is unknown till the 15th c., when it becomes all at once frequent in various senses, none identical with the OE., though derivable from it" [OED].
Meaning "not a few, considerable" is from late 15c. With a sense of "moderately," qualifying adjectives and adverbs, since 1560s. Pretty please as an emphatic plea is attested from 1902. A pretty penny "lot of money" is first recorded 1768.
"a pretty person or thing," 1736, from pretty (adj.).