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

But that description now seems unfair since the 2020... James Freeman, WSJ, "Bernie’s Bet: $32.6 Trillion Is Not Enough," 9 Mar. 2019 Journalists have often described Justin as difficult to talk to, a criticism that seems unfair. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Open Up About Their Passionate, Not-Always-Easy but Absolutely All-In Romance," 7 Feb. 2019 DeVos has said that the existing system is unfair to the accused. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What to Know About The Title IX Changes—And How You Can Fight Them," 20 Nov. 2018 SoundCloud has rewritten the contract for its self-monetization program, called SoundCloud Premier, following The Verge’s report that the deal was unfair to artists. Dani Deahl, The Verge, "SoundCloud pulls controversial contract terms after Verge report," 29 Oct. 2018 Rottier argued the cap was unfair to the most severely injured, saying that the greater the jury award, the less percentage of it is received by the victim of malpractice. Cary Spivak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds medical malpractice caps in case of Wisconsin woman who lost four limbs," 27 June 2018 Our Immigration policy, laughed at all over the world, is very unfair to all of those people who have gone through the system legally and are waiting on line for years! Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Suggests Suspending Rule of Law for Undocumented Immigrants," 24 June 2018 Maybe that something different is hierarchal mob violence and being unfair to people. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The Unheralded Pioneers of 19th-Century America Were Free African-American Families," 19 June 2018 The Trump administration argues China is using the plan to give its tech companies unfair advantage over foreign rivals. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Amazon’s E-Commerce Adventure in China Proved Too Much of a Jungle," 18 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for unfair

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unfair

The first known use of unfair was in 1700

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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.

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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

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