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 pretty
I think the response of the French government so far has been pretty appropriate in that regard.
I gotta say—I think this past year was pretty bad for music.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness|Marlow Stern|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“Jeffrey wanted me to tell you that you looked so pretty,” the female voice said into my disbelieving ear.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The clichés about football-obsessed husbands and frustrated wives are pretty heavy-handed.
Early on, the sexual protagonist complains that her Molson-drinking husband is pretty much an incompetent Neanderthal.
She'd most think she could see their pretty upturned faces in the water.Harper's New Monthly Magazine|Various
And look at our little one—how pretty he is, and how he grows!A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales|Guy De Maupassant
Why should it break its pretty painted wings in trying to soar above the sunshine of the hour?Miss Hildreth, Volume 1 of 3|Augusta de Grasse Stevens
And then I lived too low, I fear; and any way I have got pretty low and out at elbows in health.The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 23 (of 25)|Robert Louis Stevenson
He sed he had kept a pretty close watch on the newspapers to see ef eny of them opposed the war or advocated slavery.
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