Meaning of FAIR in English



1. treating people in a way that is reasonable and equal

2. words for describing someone who is always fair

3. able to be fair because you are not involved in a situation

4. when a situation or decision is fair




see also




1. treating people in a way that is reasonable and equal

▷ fair /feəʳ/ [adjective]

treating everyone equally, or treating people in a way that most people think is right :

▪ The old system of student funding seemed much fairer.

▪ Everyone has the right to a fair trial.

▪ Observers will be present to ensure a free and fair election.

it is fair that

▪ Do you think it’s fair that she gets paid more money than me?

it’s only fair


▪ Her husband should help take care of the baby - it’s only fair.

be fair to somebody

▪ In order to be fair to everyone, ticket sales are limited to two for each person.

to be fair

spoken say this when you are giving a reason why someone should not be criticized too strongly

▪ To be fair, these are complicated, serious issues, and the department has only been discussing them for a short time.

fairly [adverb]

▪ Her job is to make sure that the money is distributed fairly.

▷ just /dʒʌst/ [adjective]

a situation, decision etc that is just gives someone what they rightly deserve or have a right to expect :

▪ Many of us did not feel that the court’s decision was just.

▪ a just and lasting peace

just decision/punishment/settlement etc

▪ The Attorney General called the sentence a fair and just punishment for someone who had committed such a dreadful crime.

▷ reasonable /ˈriːz ə nəb ə l/ [adjective]

if an agreement, offer, or what someone does is reasonable, most people would agree that it is fair and sensible :

▪ The company made every reasonable effort to correct the problem.

▪ The students’ goals in the protest seem so reasonable that the university is setting up a committee to consider them.

it is reasonable to do something

▪ Do you think it’s reasonable to expect people to work more than 60 hours a week?

▷ balanced /ˈbælənst/ [adjective usually before noun]

giving fair and equal treatment to all sides of an argument or subject :

▪ ‘Newsweek’ gave a reasonably balanced report on the crisis.

▪ Recently historians have taken a far more balanced view of the Irish question.

▷ even-handed /ˌiːv ə n ˈhændə̇d◂/ [adjective]

treating everyone equally and not showing special favour to anyone :

▪ Local magistrates are expected to respect the law and provide even-handed justice.

▪ The BBC has the reputation of being even-handed in its coverage of election news.

▷ fair’s fair /ˌfeəʳz ˈfeəʳ/ spoken

use this to tell someone that they should do something because it is right and fair, especially after you have done something for them :

▪ Come on, fair’s fair. It’s your turn to mind the kids.

▷ play fair /ˌpleɪ ˈfeəʳ/ [verb phrase]

to do something in an honest and fair way :

▪ The film company says that it played fair in all its contract dealings with the actors’ unions.

▪ A mystery novel should play fair with the reader, providing all the clues necessary to solve the crime.

2. words for describing someone who is always fair

▷ fair /feəʳ/ [adjective not usually before noun]

▪ Kelson has a reputation as a fair and compassionate judge.

▪ Despite the discrimination they suffered, my grandparents remained fair, decent, good people.

be fair to somebody

▪ I’ve always tried to be fair to all my children.

fairly [adverb]

▪ I believe I acted fairly when I expelled those students.

▷ just /dʒʌst/ [adjective] written

someone who is just treats people in a way that is fair and right - use this especially about leaders, rulers, and other people in authority, especially in historical descriptions :

▪ He was the perfect choice for Emperor -- just, patient, merciful and of royal blood.

▪ No just government would allow this kind of treatment of its own citizens.

▷ fair-minded /ˌfeə ˈmaɪndə̇d◂ǁˈfeər ˌmaɪndə̇d/ [adjective]

someone who is fair-minded is able to see situations in a fair and reasonable way and always considers other people’s opinions :

▪ The Chairman is a fair-minded man, so will listen to any criticism of his proposals.

▪ She remained maddeningly fair- minded, even about her greatest opponents.

3. able to be fair because you are not involved in a situation

▷ objective /əbˈdʒektɪv/ [adjective]

not influenced by personal opinions or emotions, especially when you have to make a decision about something :

▪ I could use an objective opinion on this problem.

▪ It’s always difficult to be objective about such a sensitive issue as abortion.

▪ The selection board, which decides on promotions, should be strictly objective.

objectively [adverb]

▪ If you’re worried, get the advice of someone who can look at the problem objectively.

objectivity /ˌɒbdʒekˈtɪvɪti, ˌɒbdʒekˈtɪvətiǁˌɑːb-/ [uncountable noun]

▪ Most quality newspapers aim at objectivity, but few achieve it.

▷ impartial /ɪmˈpɑːʳʃ ə l/ [adjective]

able to make fair judgements or decisions about a situation because you do not support anyone who is involved in it :

▪ Historians try to be impartial, but they cannot free themselves entirely from their own opinions.

▪ Our representative attended the peace negotiations as an impartial observer.

impartiality /ɪmˌpɑːʳʃiˈælɪti, ɪmˌpɑːʳʃiˈæləti/ [uncountable noun]

▪ After the trial, people questioned the impartiality of the jury.

impartially [adverb]

▪ I’m not sure we can trust this court to consider the evidence impartially.

▷ neutral /ˈnjuːtrəlǁˈnuː-/ [adjective]

not supporting any side in a disagreement, argument, war etc :

▪ Switzerland remained neutral during World War II.

▪ Civil servants are supposed to be politically neutral.

neutrality /njuːˈtrælɪti, njuːˈtrælətiǁnuː-/ [uncountable noun]

▪ In 1917, U.S. neutrality ended when two of their ships were torpedoed.

▷ not take sides /nɒt teɪk ˈsaɪdz/ [verb phrase] especially spoken

to deliberately not support either side in an argument :

▪ Teachers shouldn’t take sides when students argue.

not take sides in

▪ It is important that social workers don’t take sides in family disputes.

▷ unbiased /ʌnˈbaɪəst/ [adjective]

not influenced by personal opinions or a tendency to support a particular person or side, and therefore able to make a fair judgment :

▪ This murder case has had so much media publicity that it will be difficult to find an unbiased jury.

▪ Women need accurate, unbiased information about their options when they become pregnant.

▷ disinterested /dɪsˈɪntrɪstəd, dɪsˈɪntrəstəd/ [adjective]

able to be fair in considering a particular situation because you are not involved in it and do not expect to gain any personal advantage from it :

▪ Find a financial consultant who can offer completely independent and disinterested advice.

4. when a situation or decision is fair

▷ fairness /ˈfeəʳnɪs, ˈfeəʳnəs/ [uncountable noun]

when something is done or decided in a way that is fair and right :

▪ News reports should be held to a high standard of accuracy and fairness.

▪ The judge has a record of fairness and non-discrimination.

▷ justice /ˈdʒʌstɪs, ˈdʒʌstəs/ [uncountable noun]

when a situation is dealt with in a way that is fair and right, especially as the result of an official or legal decision :

▪ It’s up to the courts to uphold justice - you can’t take the law into your own hands.

▪ It is clear that ‘liberty and justice for all’ is still a goal rather than a reality in the U.S.

▷ fair play /ˌfeəʳ ˈpleɪ/ [uncountable noun]

if there is fair play in a situation, activity, game etc, people behave fairly and no one tries to cheat :

▪ We need to instil in our children a strong sense of fair play.

▪ A high level of sportsmanship and fair play is a tradition in the game.

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