adjective, pret·ti·er, pret·ti·est.
noun, plural pret·ties.
verb (used with object), pret·tied, pret·ty·ing.
- pretty as a picture,
- pretty much,
- pretty penny, a,
- in an advantageous position.
- well-to-do; successful.
Origin of pretty
Examples from the Web for prettiness
The choice suggests a woman with a modern definition of femininity, one in which power, swagger and prettiness easily coexist.Petraeus Affair Stereotypes: The General, The Flirt And The Harlot|Robin Givhan|November 15, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Lurking not far beneath the prettiness lies the real Pagford—a dystopia that would take a wizard to set right.‘The Casual Vacancy’ Review: J.K. Rowling Cuts Loose From Harry Potter|Malcolm Jones|September 27, 2012|DAILY BEAST
She was self-aware, even, of the role her prettiness played in earning her admirers.
I feel much more now that all the fans, and particularly the lesbian fans of the show, savor the prettiness of the cast.
She is taut with prettiness, and when she smiles, I am sure I can hear her jaw click, protesting the disruption.
He was no butterfly or dandy, who flew about in the world's sun, warmed into prettiness by a sunbeam.The Small House at Allington|Anthony Trollope
Her room was not decked out with all the prettiness Claudia, with a remembrance of other days, had looked for.
Ralph had an enjoyment in the prettiness of nature, and Augusta was clever enough to simulate the feeling.Ralph the Heir|Anthony Trollope
Wretched as I was I still saw the quaintness and prettiness of Putbus.The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rgen|Elizabeth von Arnim
This speech, Bob., thou wilt call a prettiness; but the allegory is just; and thou hast not quite cured me of the metaphorical.Clarissa, Or The History Of A Young Lady, Volume 8|Samuel Richardson
adjective -tier or -tiest
noun plural -ties
verb -ties, -tying or -tied
Word Origin for pretty
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.).
In addition to the idioms beginning with pretty
- pretty as a picture
- pretty much
- pretty penny, a
- in a fix (pretty pickle)
- kettle of fish, pretty
- sitting pretty