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Beautiful vs. Pretty: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 28, 2023
"Beautiful" denotes a deeper, more profound appreciation of aesthetic qualities, often encompassing elegance and uniqueness, while "Pretty" generally refers to a more superficial, pleasing appearance, often cute or delicate.
Beautiful vs. Pretty

Key Differences

"Beautiful" is used to describe something with profound aesthetic qualities, often invoking a sense of awe or deep admiration. "Pretty," on the other hand, typically refers to something that is pleasing to look at but might not evoke a deep emotional response.
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Dec 28, 2023
"Beautiful" can be used to describe a wide range of things, from nature to art, where the beauty is often timeless and deeply impactful. "Pretty" is often used for things that are pleasing in a more immediate, often less profound way.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
"Beautiful" carries a weightier connotation, often implying a level of perfection or excellence. "Pretty" is lighter, sometimes suggesting a delicate or dainty quality.
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Dec 28, 2023
The perception of what is "beautiful" can vary greatly and is often subjective, tied to cultural and personal ideals. "Pretty," while also subjective, tends to have a more universally agreed-upon standard.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023
When applied to people, "beautiful" often encompasses both inner and outer qualities, while "pretty" usually refers more to physical appearance.
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Dec 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Depth of Aesthetic

Profound and impactful
Pleasing, often surface-level
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Dec 28, 2023

Emotional Response

Evokes awe, deep admiration
Evokes delight, pleasant feelings
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Usage Scope

Broader, timeless
More immediate, often transient
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Connotation

Weightier, implies excellence
Lighter, often implies delicacy
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Application

Both inner and outer qualities in people
Usually physical appearance
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Beautiful and Pretty Definitions

Beautiful

Beautiful often implies a natural, unspoiled, and harmonious appearance.
The beautiful landscape was a perfect blend of mountains and sea.
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Dec 28, 2023

Pretty

Pretty refers to something that is visually pleasing in a delicate or charming way.
The garden was full of pretty flowers and butterflies.
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Dec 28, 2023

Beautiful

In the context of people, beautiful can encompass both physical appearance and personality.
She is not only physically beautiful but also kind and compassionate.
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Pretty

Pretty is often used to describe a cute or attractive appearance, less profound than beautiful.
She wore a pretty dress that matched her cheerful personality.
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Dec 28, 2023

Beautiful

Beautiful also implies a sense of elegance and grace.
The dancer's movements were so beautiful, they seemed to defy gravity.
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Pretty

Pretty is also used to acknowledge something pleasant but not overly impressive.
The performance was pretty good, though not outstanding.
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Dec 28, 2023

Beautiful

Beautiful describes something deeply pleasing to the senses or mind.
The painting was so beautiful that it left viewers speechless.
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Dec 28, 2023

Pretty

Pleasing or attractive in a graceful or delicate way.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Beautiful can be used to describe artistic and creative works that are outstanding.
The composer's latest symphony is absolutely beautiful.
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Dec 28, 2023

Pretty

Clever; adroit
A pretty maneuver.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Having qualities that delight or appeal to the senses and often the mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Very bad; terrible
In a pretty predicament.
A situation that has reached a pretty pass.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Excellent; wonderful
Hit a beautiful shot from the tee.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Ostensibly or superficially attractive but lacking substance or conviction
Full of pretty phrases.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Used to express approval or delight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(Informal) Considerable in size or extent
A pretty fortune.
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Oct 19, 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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

To a fair degree; moderately
A pretty good student.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Good, admirable.
He was a beautiful person; he would drop everything to help you.
You've done a beautiful thing today.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

In a pretty manner; prettily or pleasingly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

(of the weather) Pleasant; clear.
It's beautiful outside, let's go for a walk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

One that is pretty.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Well executed.
The skater performed a beautiful axel.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Pretties Delicate clothing, especially lingerie.
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Oct 19, 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!
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

To make pretty
Pretty up the house.
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Oct 19, 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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Pleasant to the sight or other senses; attractive, especially of women or children.
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Oct 19, 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
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Of objects or things: nice-looking, appealing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

Aesthetically pleasing
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Fine-looking; only superficially attractive; initially appealing but having little substance; see petty.
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Oct 19, 2023

Beautiful

(of weather) highly enjoyable;
What a beautiful day
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Cunning; clever, skilful.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(dated) Moderately large; considerable.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(dated) Excellent, commendable, pleasing; fitting or proper (of actions, thoughts etc.).
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(ironic) Awkward, unpleasant.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Somewhat, fairly, quite; sometimes also (by meiosis) very.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(dialect) Prettily, in a pretty manner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

A pretty person; a term of address to a pretty person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Something that is pretty.
We'll stop at the knife store and look at the sharp pretties.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

To make pretty; to beautify
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Oct 19, 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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

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

Affectedly nice; foppish; - used in an ill sense.
The pretty gentleman is the most complaisant in the world.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Mean; despicable; contemptible; - used ironically; as, a pretty trick; a pretty fellow.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Stout; strong and brave; intrepid; valiant.
[He] observed they were pretty men, meaning not handsome.
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Oct 19, 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.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Pleasing by delicacy or grace; not imposing;
Pretty girl
Pretty song
Pretty room
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

(used ironically) unexpectedly bad;
A pretty mess
A pretty kettle of fish
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Used as an intensifier (`jolly' is used informally in Britain);
Pretty big
Pretty bad
Jolly decent of him
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Oct 19, 2023

Pretty

Pretty can describe things that are pleasing in a simple or unpretentious way.
The small café was pretty, with its quaint decor and warm lighting.
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Dec 28, 2023

Pretty

In describing people, pretty often focuses on pleasant physical features.
The child’s pretty smile lit up the room.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Do beautiful and pretty have the same depth?

Beautiful usually has a deeper, more profound implication than pretty.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

What does beautiful mean?

Beautiful describes something deeply pleasing aesthetically, often with a sense of awe.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can beautiful apply to personalities?

Yes, beautiful can describe both physical appearance and admirable personality traits.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is pretty used for nature?

Pretty can be used for nature but usually for smaller, charming aspects, not grand vistas.
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Dec 28, 2023

Can objects be beautiful?

Absolutely, objects like art, design, and architecture can be described as beautiful.
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Dec 28, 2023

How do these terms apply in art?

In art, beautiful often refers to profound, timeless qualities, while pretty may refer to charming, pleasing details.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can a person be both beautiful and pretty?

Yes, a person can be described as both, with beautiful often implying a deeper appreciation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Are these terms subjective?

Yes, both terms are highly subjective and can vary based on personal and cultural perceptions.
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Dec 28, 2023

Does pretty imply imperfection?

Pretty doesn’t necessarily imply imperfection but often lacks the awe-inspiring quality of beautiful.
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Dec 28, 2023

How is pretty defined?

Pretty refers to something that is visually pleasing in a delicate, attractive way.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is pretty often used for children?

Pretty is commonly used to describe children, focusing on cute and charming attributes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can a performance be described as beautiful?

Yes, performances can be described as beautiful when they are profoundly moving or artistically outstanding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can landscapes be beautiful?

Yes, landscapes can be beautiful, especially when they are grand, harmonious, or awe-inspiring.
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Dec 28, 2023

Is it common to use pretty for men?

Pretty is less commonly used for men, often replaced with terms like handsome or good-looking.
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Dec 28, 2023

How do these terms evolve culturally?

The usage and perception of beautiful and pretty evolve with cultural and societal changes, reflecting different aesthetic values.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is pretty less impactful than beautiful?

Generally, pretty is considered less impactful and more surface-level than beautiful.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can beautiful be used for small details?

Yes, beautiful can describe small details, especially if they evoke a deep aesthetic pleasure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is beautiful used in a formal context?

Beautiful can be used in both formal and informal contexts, depending on the subject.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Can landscapes be pretty?

Landscapes can be pretty, especially when they exhibit charming or quaint features.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

Is pretty used in a romantic context?

Pretty can be used romantically, often to describe a light, charming attractiveness.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 28, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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