un·​fair | \ ˌən-ˈfer How to pronounce unfair (audio) \

Definition of unfair

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera, who has been spearheading efforts to amend the law, says the new analysis should build momentum toward eliminating an unfair freebie that takes many millions away from other city priorities. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Oct. 2021 The newspaper said Switzerland’s economic affairs department filed a criminal complaint alleging unfair competition violations related to Greensill. Margot Patrick, WSJ, 3 Oct. 2021 That is because unfair, unduly severe, and harmful disciplinary practices disproportionately affect students of color and students with disabilities. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 The trustees can rectify unfair pay, promotion, and evaluation practices, too. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 30 Sep. 2021 Nothing until another team attempts to unionize or a player makes an unfair labor practice claim. CBS News, 30 Sep. 2021 Griffiths called such allegations unacceptable and unfair. BostonGlobe.com, 29 Sep. 2021 Griffiths called such allegations unacceptable and unfair. NBC News, 29 Sep. 2021 More than 90 percent of unfair labor practice claims that head to a hearing like this one wind up being settled, according to the NLRB. Washington Post, 29 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of unfair

1700, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near unfair



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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unfair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfair. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for unfair



English Language Learners Definition of unfair

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


un·​fair | \ ˌən-ˈfer How to pronounce unfair (audio) \

Kids Definition of unfair

: not fair, honest, or just an unfair trial

Other Words from unfair

unfairly adverb We were treated unfairly.

More from Merriam-Webster on unfair

Nglish: Translation of unfair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unfair for Arabic Speakers


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