WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE: rather, fairly, quite, prettyRather, fairly, quite, and pretty are all used to say that something is true to some degree, but not completely or extremely• She's rather shy. • You should find the test fairly easy.• It took quite a long time (NOT a quite long time).• His English is pretty good.Rather is fairly formal but can be used in spoken English, especially British English. In American English it is more usual to use pretty. In both American and British English, pretty is more usual in speech than in writing.Quitecan also be used in front of an adjective or adverb, and in British English a verb, to mean 'completely'. This is a fairly formal use• You are quite wrong. • I quite understand your feelings. ➔ See alsoratherWORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE: beautiful, pretty, handsome, good-looking, attractive, gorgeous, stunningbeautiful is used to describe someone, usually a woman or child, who is attractive in a very special and noticeable way.pretty is usually used to describe a girl or woman who is good-looking, with regular features. It can also be used to describe a boy or young man who has an attractive but feminine face.handsome is usually used to describe a man or boy who is good-looking, with strong regular features. It can also be used to describe a woman, usually an older woman, who has attractive but masculine features.good-looking can be used to describe anyone who you think is nice to look at. attractiveis used to describe someone who looks good in a way that attracts sexual interest• I can see he's handsome, but I don't find him very attractive.gorgeous and stunning are emphatic ways of saying that someone is very attractive. Gorgeous is used mostly in spoken English. ➔ See alsobeautiful
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.