fair·​ness ˈfer-nəs How to pronounce fairness (audio)
: the quality or state of being fair
especially : fair or impartial treatment : lack of favoritism toward one side or another
This is the real Ponzi scheme that does injury to the American promise of fairnessJesse Jackson
The rules reflect the principles of procedural due process and fundamental fairness prescribed by the Constitution … James O. Freedman
… partisan gerrymandering has got so out of hand that it was up to the courts to restore a measure of fairness. Jeffrey Toobin
We are living in the harsh world invented by a handful of corporate raiders whose values are completely foreign to the fairness and moderation that had so long served as the proper foundation of American success and the American dream. Doris Haddock
He did poorly, but in (all) fairness [=to be fair to him], he was tired.

Examples of fairness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Gerrymandering Project at Princeton gives the Wisconsin redistricting an F grade for partisan fairness, finding Republicans have a significant advantage, as do incumbents. Megan O’Matz, ProPublica, 23 Sep. 2023 At issue in an expanding worker strike against major U.S.-based automakers are two visions of the future: one forward-looking that emphasizes innovation, one backward-looking that emphasizes fairness. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Sep. 2023 The team members range from astrophysicists to sociologists, and their approach combines fairness evaluations, tool-building, education, and outreach. Chris Hyams, Fortune, 21 Sep. 2023 Enough talk about fairness, safety, and effectiveness. Casey Ross, STAT, 20 Sep. 2023 Simple rule: When fairness and the truth are in conflict, journalism has to choose the truth. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 18 Sep. 2023 Andrew Miltenberg, a lawyer who usually represents the accused, said that cross-examination during Title IX hearings is necessary for fairness, because the proceedings are already tilted against the accused. Vimal Patel, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2023 The question is not necessarily what judges have said in other court proceedings but their fairness toward a specific defendant in a specific case, legal analysts said. Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2023 As the fight continues to protect fairness in girls' sports, the White House has refused to answer whether females should have to compete against transgender athletes. Elizabeth Heckman, Fox News, 8 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fairness.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fairness was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fairness

Cite this Entry

“Fairness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fairness. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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