1 /'prIti/ adverb (+ adj/adv) spoken
1 fairly, though not completely: I'm pretty sure he'll say yes. | Life on the farm was pretty tough.
—see rather
2 very: It's pretty hard to see how we'll manage.
3 pretty well also pretty much very nearly; almost: I'd say that's pretty well impossible. | “How is he feeling today?” “Pretty much the same.”
4 pretty near especially AmE almost: That bout of pneumonia pretty near killed Roy.
—see also: be sitting pretty sit (6) 2 adjective prettier, prettiest
1 a woman or child who is pretty is good-looking in an ordinary way: Susan's certainly a pretty girl, but I wouldn't call her beautiful. | Maria looks much prettier with her hair cut short.
2 something that is pretty is pleasant to look at or listen to without being very beautiful or impressive: a pretty dress | a pretty tune | What a pretty little garden!
3 a boy who is pretty looks attractive in a way that is typical of a girl: She said,“Oh Nick's the pretty one really.”
4 not a pretty sight often humorous very unpleasant to look at: After a night's drinking, Al was not a pretty sight.
5 not just a pretty face humorous spoken to have qualities or abilities as well as an attractive appearance: I'm not just a pretty face, you know!
6 come to a pretty pass old-fashioned used to say that a very bad situation has developed: Things have come to a pretty pass, if you can't say what you think without causing a fight.
7 cost a pretty penny old-fashioned to cost a lot of money
8 pretty as a picture very pretty
9 pretty pretty BrE spoilt by too much pretty decoration
— prettily adverb: Charlotte sang very prettily. — prettiness noun: U

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pretty — Pret ty, a. [Compar. {Prettier}; superl. {Prettiest}.] [OE. prati, AS. pr[ae]ttig, pr[ae]tig, crafty, sly, akin to pr[ae]t, pr[ae]tt, deceit, trickery, Icel. prettugr tricky, prettr a trick; probably fr. Latin, perhaps through Celtic; cf. W.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pretty — [prit′ē] adj. prettier, prettiest [ME prati < OE prættig, crafty < prætt, craft, trick] 1. pleasing or attractive in a dainty, delicate, or graceful way rather than through striking beauty, elegance, grandeur, or stateliness 2. a) fine;… …   English World dictionary

  • pretty — 1. Pretty is used as an adverb with the meaning ‘fairly, moderately’, as in The performance was pretty good / He did pretty much as he liked. The adverb corresponding to the usual meaning of pretty is prettily: She always dresses so prettily. 2.… …   Modern English usage

  • pretty — ► ADJECTIVE (prettier, prettiest) 1) attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful. 2) informal used ironically to express displeasure: he led me a pretty dance. ► ADVERB informal ▪ to a moderately high degree; fairly. ► NOUN (pl …   English terms dictionary

  • Pretty — Pret ty, adv. In some degree; moderately; considerably; rather; almost; less emphatic than very; as, I am pretty sure of the fact; pretty cold weather. [1913 Webster] Pretty plainly professes himself a sincere Christian. Atterbury. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pretty — [adj] attractive appealing, beauteous, beautiful, boss*, charming, cheerful, cher*, comely, cute, dainty, darling, delicate, delightful, dishy*, dreamboat*, elegant, eyeful*, fair, fine, foxy*, good looking, graceful, handsome, looker, lovely,… …   New thesaurus

  • pretty — index attractive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pretty — bonny, comely, fair, *beautiful, lovely, handsome, good looking, beauteous, pulchritudinous Analogous words: charming, attractive, alluring (see under ATTRACT): dainty, delicate, exquisite (see CHOICE adj) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • pretty — pret|ty1 W3S2 [ˈprıti] adv [+ adjective/adverb] spoken 1.) fairly or more than a little ▪ I m pretty sure he ll say yes. ▪ She still looks pretty miserable. see usage note ↑rather 2.) very ▪ Dinner at Luigi s sounds pretty good to me …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • pretty — pret|ty1 [ prıti ] adverb MAINLY SPOKEN *** 1. ) fairly: My TV s getting pretty old now. Todd looks pretty tired. 2. ) very: The weather is pretty awful, isn t it? pretty good: I can see they ve done a pretty good job of it. pretty much/well/near …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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