Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make pretty or prettier, especially in a superficial or insubstantial way.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make pretty; embellish; especially, to make pretty in a petty, finical way, as by the excessive or fanciful use of ornament.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make more beautiful

Etymologies

From pretty +‎ -fy. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A strong argument even could be made that Krugman is wrong suggesting that the news media just wanted to "prettify" American history or that I was wrong in speculating that the distorted reporting on the Election 2000 recount was just a case of putting patriotism over professionalism.

    Explaining the Bush Cocoon

  • It will spend £194,000 this year buying interesting new pieces for the government art collection, the better to prettify government offices.

    Hugh Muir's diary

  • According to the WSJ, banks didn't want to prettify their profits.

    Companies Hoarding $1 Trillion In Cash

  • Panasonic has announced a new camera, the Lumix DMC-FX78, that might make those candids easier to bear: It has on-camera editing features intended to prettify your portraits.

    Panasonic DMC-FX78 lets you do in-camera makeovers

  • But it's not one that Obama or the Pentagon or even trillions and trillions in rare minerals will be able to prettify.

    Jacob Heilbrunn: Obama's Fool's Gold In Afghanistan

  • The continued success and durability of people as disparate as Newhart and, say, Betty White, Tony Bennett, or Clint Eastwood fulfill all the clichés one is forced to endure about timelessness and multi-generational appeal and everything else designed to prettify the obvious: they are as good as they ever were at what they do.

    Spencer Green: Bob Newhart: The Quiet Comedy Master

  • But what happened was I, you know, Johnny was in poor health and so I said to myself, well, we either try to prettify it and try to hide that or we just show the way he is.

    Director Mark Romanek Tackles 'Never Let Me Go'

  • My mother, a minha mãe, is frowning, is angry at what she says are my prettify ways.

    Excerpt: A Mercy by Toni Morrison

  • The role of art, after all, is not to prettify but to expose reality with all its contradictions and complexities.

    Jane Fonda: Expanding the Narrative

  • While the continuous-riding ban may not be new, I worry whether the signage -- which is new -- is part of the City of Chicago's ongoing strategy to prettify this town in advance of a potentially successful Olympic bid.

    Mike Doyle: CTA to Eject Rush-Hour Riders?

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.