fair play


Definition of fair play

: equitable or impartial treatment : justice

Examples of fair play in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps the most equitable treatment the band has received in the US awards system so far is at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards — and that fair play is due to their success. Aja Romano, Vox, "MTV added a K-pop award to the VMAs. BTS fans think it’s a way of excluding the band.," 24 July 2019 While turnabout seems fair play, that just isn’t the American Way. Pat Lenhoff, chicagotribune.com, "Column: America still is great. But my European vacation allowed me to reassess what it does best.," 19 June 2019 Strive for peace of mind, fair play and overall happiness. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Aug. 23, 2019," 23 Aug. 2019 Besides their accolades and earnings—more than $100 million each, and that’s just tournament winnings—both men are admired for their sense of sportsmanship and fair play. Jason Gay, WSJ, "A Tennis Geezer Pleaser: Federer, Nadal to Renew Battle at Wimbledon," 11 July 2019 Once his volley winner found the net tape and trickled over to cap the third set — turnabout was fair play, in this instance, after the way the previous set ended — the outcome seemed inevitable. Howard Fendrich, Houston Chronicle, "Novak Djokovic gets by Roberto Bautista Agut to reach sixth Wimbledon final," 12 July 2019 Turn about is fair play: Cain himself was robbed in the third inning when Bryan Reynolds ran down his sinking liner down the right-field line and reeled it in with a sliding attempt that carried him into the fence. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers get it together in 10th inning for victory after blowing five-run lead in ninth," 5 July 2019 The offer matches Félix's release clause in Lisbon, but it's added that their bid remains 'informal' because of financial fair play. SI.com, "Manchester City Match Joao Felix's €120m Release Clause With 'Informal Offer' to Benfica," 4 June 2019 Kavanaugh won the day by appealing to reason, fair play, and the presumption of innocence — in other words, things that the most disillusioned Catholic conservatives perhaps consider a sucker’s game, yet still have purchase with the American public. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Post-Liberal Dead End," 7 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fair play.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fair play

circa 1500, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for fair play

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for fair play

The first known use of fair play was circa 1500

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More Definitions for fair play

fair play


English Language Learners Definition of fair play

: a way of behaving or of treating other people that is honest and fair

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fair play

Nglish: Translation of fair play for Spanish Speakers

Comments on fair play

What made you want to look up fair play? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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