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 An analysis by Joe Bishop-Henchman of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s Taxpayer Defense Center says that a retroactive capital gains tax increase, would be unfair to taxpayers and would undermine public respect for the law. Robert W. Wood, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 To reveal too much of Last Night in Soho would be unfair to the movie and to anyone who’s eager to see it. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 4 Sep. 2021 Critics of the system say such delays are unfair to victims of police misconduct who deserve justice, as well as some officers who could be taken off the street for many years as unfounded accusations against them are weighed. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, 3 Sep. 2021 John Plaskowsky, 55, a business manager from Suwannee, Georgia, said the news media's coverage of the tumultuous withdrawal has been unfair to Biden. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2021 Here’s why: Initially, the company argued that providing the drug to patients outside of an ongoing study would be unfair to participants who were given a placebo. Ed Silverman Reprints, STAT, 22 Aug. 2021 President Joe Biden defended his push to give booster shots to all Americans, countering criticism that the move is unfair to other nations that are still struggling to procure a first dose of coronavirus vaccines. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 20 Aug. 2021 Second, those who argue that affirmative action is unfair to white applicants are saying, in effect, that admissions officers should consider only grades and test scores, which have the appearance of precision. The New Yorker, 16 Aug. 2021 Landlord groups, such as the National Apartment Association, criticized the move as harming small mom-and-pop landlords and being unfair to rental companies. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Aug. 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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Last Updated

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unfair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unfair. Accessed 23 Sep. 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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