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Pretty vs. Beautiful: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on November 25, 2023
"Pretty" often refers to a delicate or cute type of attractiveness, while "beautiful" implies a more profound, pervasive, or awe-inspiring beauty.

Key Differences

"Pretty" is a term often used to describe something that is pleasing to the eye in a delicate or charming way, while "beautiful" tends to refer to something that is aesthetically pleasing in a more profound or universally striking manner.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023
When something is "pretty," it's usually seen as attractive in a light, endearing, or fun way; "beautiful," on the other hand, is a more powerful descriptor, often implying a sense of awe or deep admiration.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023
"Pretty" can also be used in a more casual, everyday context to describe things that are pleasing in appearance, whereas "beautiful" might be reserved for things that evoke a strong emotional response due to their aesthetic qualities.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023
People often use "pretty" to describe simple, yet pleasing qualities, while "beautiful" can also refer to inner beauty, encompassing more than just physical appearance.
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023
While "pretty" might be used more for individuals or small items, "beautiful" can be applied to expansive, complex, or grand things, indicating a greater level of magnificence or depth in beauty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Depth of meaning

More surface-level, cute
Deeper, more profound
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Usage

Light, casual contexts
Strong, emotional responses
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Applicability

Often for individuals/small items
Can be applied to grand concepts
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Inner beauty

Mostly physical attractiveness
Can encompass inner qualities
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

Intensity

Less intense
More intense, awe-inspiring
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023
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Pretty and Beautiful Definitions

Pretty

"Pretty" refers to something visually delightful;
What a pretty dress you have!
Harlon Moss
Oct 20, 2023

Beautiful

"Beautiful" can refer to internal traits as well;
She has a beautiful soul.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

Pleasing or attractive in a graceful or delicate way.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

"Beautiful" is a strong compliment;
You look absolutely beautiful!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

Clever; adroit
A pretty maneuver.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

"Beautiful" refers to something that is strikingly pleasing to the senses;
That is a beautiful piece of art.
Janet White
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

Very bad; terrible
In a pretty predicament.
A situation that has reached a pretty pass.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

"Beautiful" suggests a profound level of beauty;
The view from the mountain is beautiful.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

Ostensibly or superficially attractive but lacking substance or conviction
Full of pretty phrases.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Having qualities that delight or appeal to the senses and often the mind.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

(Informal) Considerable in size or extent
A pretty fortune.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Excellent; wonderful
Hit a beautiful shot from the tee.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

To a fair degree; moderately
A pretty good student.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Used to express approval or delight.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

In a pretty manner; prettily or pleasingly.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Attractive and possessing beauty.
Anyone who has ever met her thought she was absolutely beautiful.
There's a beautiful lake by the town.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

One that is pretty.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Good, admirable.
He was a beautiful person; he would drop everything to help you.
You've done a beautiful thing today.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Pretties Delicate clothing, especially lingerie.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

(of the weather) Pleasant; clear.
It's beautiful outside, let's go for a walk.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

To make pretty
Pretty up the house.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Well executed.
The skater performed a beautiful axel.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Pleasant to the sight or other senses; attractive, especially of women or children.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Someone who is beautiful. Can be used as a term of address.
The man was faithful to his wife, ignoring the many blonde beautifuls who surrounded him wherever he went.
Hey, beautiful!
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Of objects or things: nice-looking, appealing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Having the qualities which constitute beauty; pleasing to the sight or the mind.
A circle is more beautiful than a square; a square is more beautiful than a parallelogram.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Fine-looking; only superficially attractive; initially appealing but having little substance; see petty.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Delighting the senses or exciting intellectual or emotional admiration;
A beautiful child
Beautiful country
A beautiful painting
A beautiful theory
A beautiful party
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Cunning; clever, skilful.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

Aesthetically pleasing
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

(dated) Moderately large; considerable.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

(of weather) highly enjoyable;
What a beautiful day
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

(dated) Excellent, commendable, pleasing; fitting or proper (of actions, thoughts etc.).
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Beautiful

"Beautiful" can describe something that moves you emotionally;
It was a beautiful ceremony.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

(ironic) Awkward, unpleasant.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Somewhat, fairly, quite; sometimes also (by meiosis) very.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

(dialect) Prettily, in a pretty manner.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

A pretty person; a term of address to a pretty person.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Something that is pretty.
We'll stop at the knife store and look at the sharp pretties.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

To make pretty; to beautify
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

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 everRan on the greensward.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Moderately large; considerable; as, he had saved a pretty fortune.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Affectedly nice; foppish; - used in an ill sense.
The pretty gentleman is the most complaisant in the world.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Mean; despicable; contemptible; - used ironically; as, a pretty trick; a pretty fellow.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Stout; strong and brave; intrepid; valiant.
[He] observed they were pretty men, meaning not handsome.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

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.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Pleasing by delicacy or grace; not imposing;
Pretty girl
Pretty song
Pretty room
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

(used ironically) unexpectedly bad;
A pretty mess
A pretty kettle of fish
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

Used as an intensifier (`jolly' is used informally in Britain);
Pretty big
Pretty bad
Jolly decent of him
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 14, 2023

Pretty

"Pretty" suggests a sweet or endearing attractiveness;
The kitten's pretty antics made us smile.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

"Pretty" is a mild compliment on appearance;
You did a pretty job with the decorations.
Sara Rehman
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

"Pretty" often describes a cute, delicate beauty;
Those are some pretty cupcakes.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

Pretty

"Pretty" is used for non-intense praise;
You look pretty today.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 20, 2023

FAQs

Are "pretty" and "beautiful" interchangeable?

They can be, but "beautiful" often has a deeper, more intense connotation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can "beautiful" describe experiences?

Yes, experiences that evoke strong, positive emotions can be called "beautiful."
Harlon Moss
Nov 25, 2023

Can objects be "pretty"?

Yes, objects like clothes, decorations, or nature can be described as "pretty."
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

Is "beautiful" only for physical appearance?

No, it can also refer to emotional, moral, or intellectual qualities.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can "beautiful" describe abstract concepts?

Yes, concepts like love, kindness, or moments can be described as "beautiful."
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can "pretty" refer to personality?

It's usually used for external appearances, but it can refer to personality traits that are charming or pleasing.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can landscapes be "pretty"?

Yes, though grand or awe-inspiring landscapes are often described as "beautiful" instead.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Can men be "pretty"?

Yes, though it's less common than using it for women.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Can music be "beautiful"?

Yes, if it evokes deep emotional responses or is considered aesthetically pleasing.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Is "pretty" less impactful than "beautiful"?

It can be seen as a lighter compliment compared to the more intense "beautiful."
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

Does "beautiful" imply rarity?

It can, as it denotes something strikingly out of the ordinary in beauty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Can "beautiful" have cultural variances?

Yes, perceptions of beauty can vary greatly across different cultures.
Sara Rehman
Nov 25, 2023

Is calling someone "pretty" superficial?

Not necessarily, but it does primarily refer to physical appearance.
Sara Rehman
Nov 25, 2023

Is "pretty" informal?

It's more casual and can be used in informal conversation.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Is "beautiful" always positive?

Typically, yes, as it denotes a high degree of attractiveness or positivity.
Sara Rehman
Nov 25, 2023

Can "pretty" be used sarcastically?

Like many adjectives, it can be used sarcastically in context.
Janet White
Nov 25, 2023

Can "beautiful" change with time?

Yes, perceptions of what is "beautiful" can evolve with cultural shifts and personal experiences.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Does "beautiful" relate to art?

Often, as art aims to evoke emotional responses, which "beautiful" describes.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023

Can "pretty" describe feelings?

It's less common but possible in poetic or creative expression.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 25, 2023

Is "pretty" gender-specific?

It's often used for women and girls, but it can be used for anyone or anything with delicate beauty.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 25, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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