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 This arrangement is so ripe for conflict of interest that the fairness of mayor’s courts has been challenged several times. Samantha Sunne, ProPublica, 16 Nov. 2023 What does fairness look like in a case with so many missteps and injustices? Hasan Ali, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Oct. 2023 Related Stories The fund’s unusual structure has raised questions for guild members and studios about fairness, legality and the principle that Hollywood is a business that rewards success. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Nov. 2023 Out of fairness to those seven people, the police department is not identifying any of them by name, the statement said. Rebecca Cohen, NBC News, 9 Nov. 2023 The Times has extensively covered the Oct. 7 attacks and the war with fairness, impartiality, and an abiding understanding of the complexities of the conflict. Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner, 9 Nov. 2023 You will be called upon to seek harmony and fairness in your relationships (or situationships). Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Nov. 2023 These economic ideas are getting unique support from this administration, in ways that rewrite the Democratic Party’s approach to delivering both growth and fairness to workers who have long gone without this level of support. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 30 Oct. 2023 In fairness to the Cochrane Library, the report did make clear that its conclusions were about the quality and capaciousness of available evidence, which the authors felt were insufficient to prove that masking was effective. Naomi Oreskes, Scientific American, 17 Oct. 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 5 Dec. 2023.

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