Meaning of FAIRLY in English


fair ‧ ly S1 W2 /ˈfeəli $ ˈferli/ BrE AmE adverb

[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ fairly ≠ ↑ unfairly , ↑ fair ; noun : ↑ fairness ≠ ↑ unfairness ; adjective : ↑ fair ≠ ↑ unfair ]

1 . [+ adjective/adverb] more than a little, but much less than very ⇨ quite :

The house had a fairly large garden.

She speaks English fairly well.

The instructions seem fairly straightforward.

2 . in a way that is fair, honest, and reasonable:

I felt I hadn’t been treated fairly.

3 . British English old-fashioned used to emphasize the degree, force etc of an action:

He fairly raced past us on his bike.

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▪ rather/quite especially British English more than a little, but less than very. British people often use these words before adjectives in conversation. In many cases they do not intend to change the meaning – it is just something that people say:

She seemed rather unhappy.


It's rather a difficult question.


It’s getting quite late.


Malaria is rather common in this area.

▪ fairly rather. Fairly is used in both British and American English:

The test was fairly easy.


It’s a fairly long way to the next town.

▪ pretty spoken rather. Pretty is more informal than the other words and is used in spoken English:

Her French is pretty good.


We’re in a pretty strong position.

▪ reasonably to a satisfactory level or degree:

He plays reasonably well.


Let's just say that I am reasonably confident we'll win.

▪ moderately formal more than a little, but not very:

Her family was moderately wealthy.


The food was moderately good, but not as good as the food in the other restaurants.


Use a moderately high heat.


a moderately difficult climb

▪ somewhat formal fairly or to a small degree. Somewhat is used especially when talking about the size or degree of something. It is often used in comparatives:

The celebrations were somewhat larger than last year’s.


He looked somewhat irritated.


a somewhat surprising decision

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.