1

fair

adjective \ ˈfer \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of fair

1 :pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality
  • The innkeeper had two fair daughters.
2 :superficially pleasing :specious
  • she trusted his fair promises
3 a :clean, pure
  • fair sparkling water
b :clear, legible
  • an old manuscript written in a fair hand
4 :not stormy or foul :fine
  • fair weather
5 :ample
  • a fair estate
6 a :marked by impartiality and honesty :free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism
  • a very fair person to do business with
b (1) :conforming with the established rules :allowed
(2) :consonant with merit or importance :due
  • a fair share
c :open to legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule
  • fair game
7 a :promising, likely
  • in a fair way to win
b :favorable to a ship's course
  • a fair wind
8 archaic :free of obstacles
9 :not dark
  • fair skin
  • a person of fair complexion
10 a :not very good or very bad :of average or acceptable quality
  • Her work was only fair.
  • a patient in upgraded from serious to fair condition
b :sufficient but not ample :adequate
  • a fair understanding of the work
  • a fair chance of winning
c :moderately numerous, large, or significant
  • takes a fair amount of time
  • a fair number of participants
11 :being such to the utmost :utter
  • a fair treat to watch him
  • New Republic

fairness

noun

Examples of fair in a Sentence

  1. "You boys not looking for any trouble, are you?" The question was fair. Millat's Crew looked like trouble. —Zadie SmithWhite Teeth(2000) 2001
  2. "I have a good relationship with both Eddie and David. I think they've been fair to me." —Joni Mitchellquoted in Rolling Stone30 May 1991
  3. Everybody out, the Iraqis said, except CNN. Even CNN isn't sure why they made that decision. Perhaps it is because CNN alone is seen globally. What the Iraqis told us is that they had found our coverage since August to have been "fair." —Peter ArnettWashington Post25-31 Mar. 1991
  4. That's a fair question, and it deserves an honest reply.

  5. He is known as a very fair man.

  6. I try to be fair to my children.

  7. He claims that the competition wasn't fair.

  8. It's not fair that she gets to leave early and I don't.

  9. a fair and impartial jury

  10. a bargain that is fair to everyone

  11. “What a bad movie!” “Be fair! Parts of it are actually pretty funny.”

  12. I can't say I liked the movie, but, to be fair, parts of it are pretty funny.

  13. She did poorly on the test, but, to be fair, so did a lot of other people.

Fair in Love and War

For many people, the word fair brings to mind the aphorism “all is fair in love and war.” We have been using some variation of this saying for quite some time, although, as with many such expressions, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when it began. As far back as 1578 John Lyly wrote “anye impietie may lawfully be committed in loue, which is lawlesse.” We do not see evidence of war juxtaposed with love until 1687, when Aphra Behn wrote “All Advantages are lawful in Love and War” in her play The Emperor of the Moon. By 1717 this had morphed into “All advantages are fair in love and war” in William Taverner’s play The Artful Husband. Finally, by 1789 we find the line used exactly as it is today in the novel The Relapse: “Tho’ this was a confounded lie, my friend, ‘all is fair in love and war’.”

Origin and Etymology of fair

Middle English fager, fair, from Old English fæger; akin to Old High German fagar beautiful

Synonym Discussion of fair

fair, just, equitable, impartial, unbiased, dispassionate, objective mean free from favor toward either or any side. fair implies a proper balance of conflicting interests.
    • a fair decision
just implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper.
    • a just settlement of territorial claims
equitable implies a less rigorous standard than just and usually suggests equal treatment of all concerned.
    • the equitable distribution of the property
impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice.
    • an impartial third party
unbiased implies even more strongly an absence of all prejudice.
    • your unbiased opinion
dispassionate suggests freedom from the influence of strong feeling and often implies cool or even cold judgment.
    • a dispassionate summation of the facts
objective stresses a tendency to view events or persons as apart from oneself and one's own interest or feelings.
    • I can't be objective about my own child

synonyms see in addition beautiful


2

fair

noun \ ˈfer \

Definition of fair

1 obsolete :beauty, fairness
2 :something that is fair or fortunate (see 1fair)
3 archaic :woman; especially :sweetheart
for fair
:to the greatest extent or degree :fully
  • the rush is on for fair
no fair
:something that is not according to the rules
  • that's no fair

Origin and Etymology of fair

see 1fair


3

fair

adverb \ ˈfer \

Definition of fair

1 :in a manner that is honest or impartial or that conforms to rules :in a fair manner
  • play fair
2 chiefly British :fairly 3
  • fair makes you want to cry

Examples of fair in a Sentence

  1. we expect everyone on this basketball court to play fair

  2. it fair takes your breath away when you find out what properties in London are going for

Origin and Etymology of fair

see 1fair


4

fair

verb \ ˈfer \

Definition of fair

intransitive verb
of the weather :clear
transitive verb
:to join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly

Origin and Etymology of fair

see 1fair


5

fair

noun \ ˈfer \

Definition of fair

1 :a gathering of buyers and sellers at a particular place and time for trade
2 a :a competitive exhibition usually with accompanying entertainment and amusements
  • an agricultural fair
b :an exhibition designed to acquaint prospective buyers or the general public with a product
  • a book fair
c :an exposition that promotes the availability of services or opportunities
  • health fairs
  • job fairs
3 :a sale of assorted articles usually for a charitable purpose

Examples of fair in a Sentence

  1. At night the sparkling lights, hurdy-gurdy music of the merry-go-round, excited children, and screams of the riders on the roller coaster that races overhead recall the gaiety of a carnival midway at a county fair. —Witold RybczynskiAtlanticMay 1993
  2. Back at the street fair, in the smoky heat among vendors of souvenirs and street food, a flock of kids dances around a boom box playing Lionel Richie. —Barbara KingsolverNew York Times Magazine12 Sept. 1993
  3. "Do you like to go out? You know, party?" "Who doesn't?" "Well, the Ebony Fashion Fair is in three weeks. You want to go?" —Terry McMillanWaiting to Exhale1992

Origin and Etymology of fair

Middle English feire, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin feria weekday, fair, from Late Latin, festal day, from Latin feriae (plural) holidays — more at feast


FAIR Defined for English Language Learners

fair

adjective

Definition of fair for English Language Learners

  • : agreeing with what is thought to be right or acceptable

  • : treating people in a way that does not favor some over others

  • : not too harsh or critical


FAIR Defined for Kids

1

fair

adjective \ ˈfer \

Definition of fair for Students

fairer; fairest
1 :not favoring one over another
  • Everyone received fair treatment.
2 :observing the rules
  • fair play
3 :neither good nor bad
  • He's only a fair singer.
4 :not stormy or cloudy
  • fair weather
5 :not dark
  • fair hair
6 :attractive in appearance :beautiful
  • our fair city
7 :being within the foul lines
  • a fair ball

fairness

noun

2

fair

adverb

Definition of fair for Students

:according to the rules
  • play fair

3

fair

noun

Definition of fair for Students

1 :a large public event at which farm animals and products are shown and entertainment, amusements, and food are provided
  • a county fair
2 :an event at which people gather to buy, sell, or get information
  • a job fair
  • a book fair
3 :a sale of articles for charity
  • a church fair

Law Dictionary

fair

adjective

legal Definition of fair

1 :characterized by honesty and justice :free from self-interest, deception, injustice, or favoritism
  • a fair and impartial tribunal
2 :reasonable as a basis for exchange
  • a fair wage
  • a fair valuation
3 :consistent with merit or importance
  • fair and just compensation for the injuries
4 :conforming with established laws or standards :being in accordance with a person's rights under the law
  • fair judicial process

fairly

adverb

fairness

noun


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