Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Cute and Pretty

prettyCute vs Pretty

For the most part, the difference between cute and pretty is mostly based on age and perception. Perception is often the greatest defining difference, as we tend to see cute in association with things like babies and puppies. Yet, in the perception that we develop, some people will see something like a praying mantis as cute, while someone else might find it offensive.

The difference between cute and pretty is also based on a sense of status and formality. It is not heavily based on gender, as one might assume. Males can be considered cute, and some can even be considered pretty, depending on your personal definition. Rather, young individuals are often referred to as ‘cute’, while a grown woman might be referred to as ‘pretty’. A young woman may be perceived as ‘cute’, by someone who defines her to be lacking in sophistication.

Alternatively, we assign sophistication to things that we can’t define as cute. A sunset is never referred to as cute, but it can most definitely be considered pretty, or even beautiful. We also see something such as a sunset as ageless, because it is older than us. This immediately redefines that age is interlaced with almost all the differences.

Cute can refer to more than just the outer appearance of something or someone. For instance, a cute personality is describing something deeper than appearances, while one does not typically have a pretty personality. Cute can also be used to describe an action, or even an intention.

Due to the general inference we tend to use when we address something as cute, the term also has the potential to be an offensive compliment. While one person may not see anything offensive about being referred to as ‘cute’, there are women and men that believe this to be a child assumed compliment, and prefer terms like ‘pretty’, ‘hot’, or even ‘handsome’.

There will always be numerous differences between cute and pretty, because the terms imply subjectiveness. What you determine to be one or the other might not be seen by someone else as anywhere close to the same definition. While both terms mean ‘pleasing to the eye’, or a sense of attractiveness, each one can be seen as nothing more than an opinion.


· Cute generally targets something young.

· Sophistication plays a role in the definition of pretty.

· Cute can indicate more than the physical appearance of something or someone.

· Cute can be used to describe actions and intentions.

· Perception indicates that the term cute can be taken offensively.

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