unfair

adjective
un·​fair | \ ˌən-ˈfer \

Definition of unfair

1 : marked by injustice, partiality, or deception : unjust
2 : not equitable in business dealings

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unfair

unfairness noun

Examples of unfair in a Sentence

It's unfair for them to be allowed to leave early if we can't. It seems unfair to single her out for criticism. The company has been accused of unfair labor practices.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The truth comes down to another (unfair and unnecessary) comparison between Meghan and Kate and between their management styles, which are, by all accounts, very different. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Are Very Different in This Key Way, According to Royal Staffers," 13 Jan. 2019 Hart’s homophobia, like that of men from other races, is a byproduct of toxic masculinity and unfair expectations of gender performance. Ernest Owens, Vox, "What it’s like to be black and gay watching the Kevin Hart controversy unfold.," 7 Jan. 2019 Check out just a few of the unfair criticisms for yourself, below: The fact people are policing Markle's hand placement is ludicrous, to say the least. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Is Being Mommy-Shamed and She Hasn't Even Given Birth Yet," 12 Dec. 2018 The Supreme Court on Monday sent back to a lower court a decision that Republicans in North Carolina had gerrymandered the state's congressional districts to give their party an unfair advantage. Robert Barnes, Anchorage Daily News, "Supreme Court sends case on North Carolina gerrymandering back to lower court," 25 June 2018 Skechers initially filed the suit on May 9, alleging that Adidas had an unfair advantage over its competitors because of the allegations unveiled in the federal investigation into college basketball. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Skechers dismisses federal lawsuit against Adidas after just 20 days," 14 June 2018 Opponents, including some supervisors, were concerned the proposition gave an unfair advantage to incumbent politicians by disqualifying board members from seeking office. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco ban on flavored tobacco, education parcel tax ahead in early vote returns," 5 June 2018 Even if the two sides manage to put punitive tariffs in abeyance, harder to resolve will be many of the Chinese trade practices the U.S. says are unfair, including the coercive transfer of technology. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "Boeing Flies Close to Trade Tussle With New Facility in China," 15 Dec. 2018 Yet, a white woman with mediocre grades wasn’t the ideal plaintiff to claim unfair admissions practices. Yuvraj Joshi, Teen Vogue, "Why the Affirmative Action Case Against Harvard Isn’t Actually About Fair Treatment for Minority Students," 16 Oct. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of unfair

1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unfair

Statistics for unfair

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unfair

The first known use of unfair was in 1700

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unfair

unfair

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of unfair

: treating people in a way that favors some over others : not fair, honest, or just

unfair

adjective
un·​fair | \ ˌən-ˈfer \

Kids Definition of unfair

: not fair, honest, or just an unfair trial

Other Words from unfair

unfairly adverb We were treated unfairly.
unfairness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unfair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unfair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unfair

Spanish Central: Translation of unfair

Nglish: Translation of unfair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unfair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unfair

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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