American English

Definition of pretty adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (prettier, prettiest)
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  1. 1(especially of a woman, or a girl) attractive without being very beautiful a pretty face a pretty little girl You look so pretty in that dress! Thesaurusbeautifulpretty handsome attractive lovely good-looking gorgeousThese words all describe people who are pleasant to look at.beautiful (especially of a woman or girl) very pleasant to look at:She looked stunningly beautiful that night.pretty (especially of a girl or woman) pleasant to look at:She's got a very pretty face. Pretty is used most often to talk about girls. When it is used to talk about a woman, it usually suggests that she is attractive, but not beautiful.handsome (of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with strong features rather than small, delicate ones:He was described as “tall, dark, and handsome.” Joan Crawford was a handsome woman.attractive (of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way:She's a very attractive woman.lovely (of a woman) beautiful; very attractive; (of a man or woman) with a pleasant personality:She looked particularly lovely that night. They really are a lovely couple. When you describe someone as lovely, you are usually showing that you also have a feeling of affection for them.good-looking (of a person) pleasant to look at, often in a sexual way:She arrived with a very good-looking man.gorgeous (informal) (of a person) extremely attractive, especially in a sexual way:You look gorgeous!attractive or good-looking?If you describe someone as attractive or lovely, you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at;good-looking describes only someone's physical appearance.Patterns a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking/gorgeous girl/woman/lady a(n) beautiful/handsome/attractive/good-looking/gorgeous boy/man a(n) beautiful/pretty/handsome/attractive/lovely/good-looking face a(n) beautiful/attractive/lovely smile
  2. 2(of places or things) attractive and pleasant to look at or to listen to without being large, beautiful, or impressive pretty clothes a pretty garden a pretty name
  3. NAmE//ˈprɪtɪli//
    adverb The rooms are simply but prettily furnished.
  4. NAmE//ˈprɪtinəs//
    noun [uncountable]
  5. Idioms
    as pretty as a picture (old-fashioned)
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    very pretty She's as pretty as a picture.
    come to such a pass, come to a pretty pass (old-fashioned or humorous)
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    to reach a sad or difficult state I never thought things would come to such a pass as this. Things have come to a pretty pass when we can't afford to pay the heating bills!
    not just a pretty face (humorous)
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    used to emphasize that you have particular skills or qualities “I didn't know you could play the piano.” “I'm not just a pretty face, you know!”
    not a pretty sight (humorous)
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    not pleasant to look at You should have seen him in his swimming trunks—not a pretty sight!
    a pretty penny (old-fashioned)
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    a lot of money I bet that cost you a pretty penny.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pretty