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

The White House’s repeated threats to raise tariffs further in retaliation for the U.S. trade deficit and policies that critics say are unfair has made companies hesitant to invest and has hurt trade internationally. Washington Post, "Global shares edge up on upbeat US earnings reports," 16 July 2019 Theresa May and her spavined colleagues would be responsible for that distrust, but life is unfair and Boris would carry the can. John O'sullivan, National Review, "Can Anyone Beat Boris?," 9 July 2019 There has always, of course, been a separate and unfair college-admissions system—and legal system—for the wealthy and well connected. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "What We Do in the Shadows," 24 June 2019 All four companies have loads of it, and in some cases may use it to gain unfair advantages. Bloomberg View, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Don’t declare war on big tech," 7 June 2019 The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 prohibited meatpackers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices, manipulating prices, creating monopolies or giving undue preference to particular people, businesses or places. Isaac Arnsdorf, ProPublica, "Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite.," 5 June 2019 Some of the criticism after the matches mentioned above was that goalkeepers barely stepped off their lines so did not gain an unfair advantage. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "VAR prompts World Cup rule change: No yellow for goalkeeper encroachment on penalties," 2 Aug. 2018 Her grandmother, however, in an interview said the thinks the charges against her granddaughter are unfair. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al.com, "Marshae Jones’ lawyers say arrest subjects victim of violence to more ‘distress and harm.’," 28 June 2019 And while there is a temptation to compare the two, Richards believes doing so would be unfair. James Masters, CNN, "Virat Kohli's fan club: 103 million followers and Viv Richards," 27 June 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

20 Jul 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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