fair·​ly | \ˈfer-lē \

Definition of fairly 

1 : in a handsome manner a table fairly set

2 obsolete

a : in a gentle manner : quietly

b : in a courteous manner

3 : so to speak : nearly, practically fairly bursting with pride

4a : in a proper or legal manner fairly priced stocks

b : without bias or distortion : impartially a story told fairly and objectively

5 : to a full degree or extent : plainly, distinctly had fairly caught sight of him

6 : rather sense 5, moderately a fairly easy job

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Synonyms & Antonyms for fairly


clean, cleanly, fair, legally


dirty, illegally

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Examples of fairly in a Sentence

It's a fairly common disease. I told the story as fairly as possible. He reports fairly on the issues. He beat me fairly and squarely.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But unlike ancestry tests, identifying direct relations can be done with a fairly high degree of accuracy, and matching could be completed in several different ways. John Moore, National Geographic, "Could DNA Testing Reunite Immigrant Families? Get the Facts.," 25 June 2018 Tesla has proven there’s actually a huge market for these vehicles, while Chevrolet is doing fairly well with its all-electric, 250-mile-range Bolt. Ed Wallace, star-telegram, "Promises, Promises," 22 June 2018 Perhaps because hustings were fairly high off the ground, British politicians today tend to stand for election, while Americans, moving from stump to stump, run for office. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "So many words to talk about elections," 14 June 2018 Culturally diverse groups whose members dealt with hazards fairly well preferred coping through rituals with small groups of friends, which were unlikely to explode in violence. Wesley Wildman, Smithsonian, "How Computer Scientists Model the Role of Religion in Society," 11 June 2018 Demand for Alaska salmon is fairly strong and competing farmed salmon prices are high. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s how Alaska fishery managers expect this salmon season to play out," 15 May 2018 Luckily, the treatment for cyclosporiasis is usually fairly simple. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Del Monte Veggies Linked to Parasite Outbreak That's Sickened More Than 200 People Already," 9 July 2018 According to Condo—who is low-key and modest despite his encyclopaedic knowledge of art history, current affairs and mythology—the secret behind his evocative canvases is fairly simple. Dorian May, A-LIST, "Portrait of an Artist: George Condo," 5 July 2018 That means systems that perform fairly simple language tasks — like writing a Wikipedia article, let alone engaging in a serious debate on a random topic — may still be years away. Cade Metz, Steve Lohr, Anchorage Daily News, "IBM unveils computer that 'debates' with humans," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fairly.' 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 fairly

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fairly

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fairly

The first known use of fairly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fairly



English Language Learners Definition of fairly

: to some degree or extent but not very or extremely : to a reasonable or moderate extent

: in a way that is right or proper : in a fair way

—used for emphasis before a verb that is being used figuratively


fair·​ly | \ˈfer-lē \

Kids Definition of fairly

1 : in a just and proper manner I was treated fairly.

2 : very close to He was fairly bursting with pride.

3 : for the most part : rather It's a fairly easy job.

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Comments on fairly

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


playful or foolish behavior

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