Nearby words

  1. pretrial,
  2. prettification,
  3. prettify,
  4. prettily,
  5. prettiness,
  6. pretty as a picture,
  7. pretty much,
  8. pretty penny, a,
  9. pretty-boy,
  10. pretty-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)

2–4. pleasant. 10. somewhat.

1. ugly.

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See beautiful.

Usage note

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unpretty

British Dictionary definitions for unpretty


adjective -tier or -tiest

pleasing or appealing in a delicate or graceful way
dainty, neat, or charming
commendable; good of its kindhe replied with a pretty wit
informal, often ironic excellent, grand, or finehere's a pretty mess!
informal lacking in masculinity; effeminate; foppish
Scot vigorous or brave
an archaic word for elegant
a pretty penny informal a large sum of money
sitting pretty informal well placed or established financially, socially, etc

noun plural -ties

a pretty person or thing


informal fairly or moderately; somewhat
informal quite or very

verb -ties, -tying or -tied

(tr often foll by up) to make pretty; adorn
Derived Formsprettily, adverbprettiness, noun

Word Origin for pretty

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

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 unpretty
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with unpretty


In addition to the idioms beginning with pretty

  • pretty as a picture
  • pretty much
  • pretty penny, a

also see:

  • in a fix (pretty pickle)
  • kettle of fish, pretty
  • sitting pretty
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.