Meaning of “pretty” in the English Dictionary

"pretty" in British English

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prettyadverb

uk /ˈprɪt.i/ us /ˈprɪt̬.i/ informal

B1 quite, but not extremely:

The house has four bedrooms, so it's pretty big.
I'm pretty sure it was her.
I've got a pretty good idea of how to get there.
pretty much/well

B1 almost:

I've pretty much finished here.
She knows pretty well everything there is to know on the subject.

More examples

  • I guess that things are pretty hard for you now.
  • It's pretty noisy at night-time.
  • It's pretty unlikely that they'll turn up now - it's nearly ten o'clock.
  • The place emptied pretty quickly when the fight started.
  • Nothing really changes around here. One day is pretty much like the next.

prettyadjective

uk /ˈprɪt.i/ us /ˈprɪt̬.i/

A2 pleasant to look at, or (especially of girls or women or things relating to them) attractive or pleasant in a delicate way:

That's a pretty hat you're wearing.
The sofa was covered in very pretty flowery material.
She's got such a pretty daughter.

More examples

  • She looked pretty in a simple cotton dress.
  • Our hotel room overlooked a pretty little fishing harbour.
  • pretty pink flowers
  • I tied the ribbon around the parcel in a pretty bow.
  • She was young and pretty, with a spotless reputation.
prettiness
noun [ U ] uk /ˈprɪt.i.nəs/ us /ˈprɪt̬.i.nəs/

Her prettiness was matched by her intelligence.

(Definition of “pretty” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pretty" in American English

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prettyadjective [ -er/-est only ]

us /ˈprɪt̬·i/

pretty adjective [ -er/-est only ] (PLEASANT)

pleasant to look at, or (esp. of girls or women or things connected with them) attractive or charming in a delicate way:

a pretty view
My older sister is prettier than I am.

Idiom(s)

prettyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈprɪt̬·i/

pretty adverb [ not gradable ] (TO A LARGE DEGREE)

(used to give emphasis) to a large degree; to some degree:

I’ve got a pretty clear idea of what’s going on.
She was pretty tired.
"How are you feeling?" "Pretty good, thanks."

(Definition of “pretty” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)