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 unpretty
To realize his pretty scenes, Potter employed some unpretty methods.
"Creep," "No Scrubs," and "Unpretty," obviously, were huge crowd pleasers.TLC Reunites for a New York City Concert. Dreams Do Come True|Kevin Fallon|January 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But he grimaced and held himself awake to contemplate the unpretty spectacle of himself and his actions.Operation: Outer Space|William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Bill stood looking at Toppy with a scowl on his unpretty face, awaiting the order to go in with the other men.The Snow-Burner|Henry Oyen
What, then, is to become of the penniless, and the unpretty!Dealings With The Dead|A Sexton of the Old School
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