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.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the scoring has come from diminutive guard Daniel Griffith (14 points) and Michael Fairweather, who has 11 off the bench (in fairness, he's been a regular starter for most of the season). Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2023 In fairness, the GOP has made some effort to course-correct. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 16 Mar. 2023 In fairness, these nine-deep Aztecs wear out more than your legs and lungs. Bryce Miller, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2023 In fairness, the options for Opening Day in ‘14 weren’t exactly overwhelming. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 9 Mar. 2023 After completing the tests, our testers uncovered the price of each cot to judge the fairness of the cost compared to its performance. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 7 Mar. 2023 The court’s conservative justices, who hold a 6-3 majority on the court, expressed skepticism about Biden’s authority, with several questioning the fairness of a program that helps some borrowers, but not others. Washington Post Staff, Washington Post, 28 Feb. 2023 The conservative justices also questioned the fairness of the program: Why should some people receive forgiveness for debts and not others? Byalicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2023 Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh suggested the administration overlooked questions of fairness. Devin Dwyer, ABC News, 28 Feb. 2023 See More

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

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 28 Mar. 2023.

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