Pret"ty (?), a. [Compar. Prettier (?); superl. Prettiest.] [OE. prati, AS. praettig, praetig, crafty, sly, akin to praet, praett, deceit, trickery, Icel. prettugr tricky, prettr a trick; probably fr. Latin, perhaps through Celtic; cf. W. praith act, deed, practice, LL. practica execution, practice, plot. See Practice.]

1.

Pleasing by delicacy or grace; attracting, but not striking or impressing; of a pleasing and attractive form a color; having slight or diminutive beauty; neat or elegant without elevation or grandeur; pleasingly, but not grandly, conceived or expressed; as, a pretty face; a pretty flower; a pretty poem.

This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever Ran on the greensward. Shak.

2.

Moderately large; considerable; as, he had saved a pretty fortune.

"Wavering a pretty while."

Evelyn.

3.

Affectedly nice; foppish; -- used in an ill sense.

The pretty gentleman is the most complaisant in the world. Spectator.

4.

Mean; despicable; contemptible; -- used ironically; as, a pretty trick; a pretty fellow.

5.

Stout; strong and brave; intrepid; valiant.

[Scot.]

[He] observed they were pretty men, meaning not handsome. Sir W. Scott.

Syn. -- Elegant; neat; fine. See Handsome.

 

© Webster 1913.


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.

Pretty plainly professes himself a sincere Christian. Atterbury.

 

© Webster 1913.

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