verb (used with object), pret·ti·fied, pret·ti·fy·ing.

to make pretty, especially in a small, petty way: to prettify a natural beauty.
to minimize or gloss over (something unpleasant): to prettify his rude behavior.

Origin of prettify

First recorded in 1840–50; prett(y) + -ify
Related formspret·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounpret·ti·fi·er, nounun·pret·ti·fied, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for prettify

Contemporary Examples of prettify

  • Or it could prettify empty, big-box stores and try to make them more welcoming.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Best Buy Is Tanking

    Alex Klein

    August 21, 2012

Historical Examples of prettify

  • It is not the function of the biographer any more than it is that of a dentist to prettify his subject.

  • "Let no one think that they can force me to prettify my types," he said.

    Jean Francois Millet

    Estelle M. Hurll

  • There is no need to prettify the record; the record, as it stands, in all its crude natural colors, is good enough.

    Proclaim Liberty!

    Gilbert Seldes

  • I must send him a little box at Christmas,—some little things to trim up his new house and prettify it.

    Hildegarde's Harvest

    Laura E. Richards

British Dictionary definitions for prettify


verb -fies, -fying or -fied

(tr) to make pretty, esp in a trivial fashion; embellish
Derived Formsprettification, nounprettifier, noun
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

Word Origin and History for prettify

1836, from pretty (adj.) + -fy. Related: Prettified; prettifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper