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.

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 26 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on fairness

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?