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.
• • •
▪ 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. 2012