QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

Idioms for pretty

    sitting pretty, Informal.
    1. in an advantageous position.
    2. well-to-do; successful.

Origin of pretty

before 1000; Middle English prati(e), pratte, prettie cunning, gallant, fine, handsome, pretty; Old English prættig, prettī cunning, derivative of prǣtt a trick, wile (cognate with Dutch part, pret trick, prank, Old Norse prettr trick, prettugr tricky)

synonym study for pretty

1. See beautiful.

usage note for pretty

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM pretty

Definition for sitting pretty (2 of 2)

sitting
[ sit-ing ]
/ ˈsɪt ɪŋ /

noun

adjective

Origin of sitting

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at sit1, -ing1, -ing2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for sitting pretty (1 of 2)

Derived forms of pretty

prettily, adverbprettiness, noun

Word Origin for pretty

Old English prættig clever; related to Middle Low German prattich obstinate, Dutch prettig glad, Old Norse prettugr cunning

British Dictionary definitions for sitting pretty (2 of 2)

sitting
/ (ˈsɪtɪŋ) /

noun

adjective

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

Cultural definitions for sitting pretty

sitting pretty

In a favorable position: “Abby finally got that promotion, and now she's sitting pretty.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sitting pretty (1 of 2)

sitting pretty

In an advantageous position; also, financially well off. For example, The terms of the will left Mary sitting pretty. Although the use of pretty in the sense of “advantageous” is much older, this colloquialism dates only from the early 1900s. It was given extra currency as the title of two different musicals, Sittin' Pretty (M. Moore, 1921) and Sitting Pretty (G. Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, 1924).

Idioms and Phrases with sitting pretty (2 of 2)

pretty

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.