Meaning of FAIR in English


I. ˈfa(a)](ə)r, ˈfe], ]ə\ adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English fager, fair, from Old English fæger; akin to Old Saxon & Old High German fagar beautiful, Old Norse fagr beautiful, Gothic fagrs suitable, and perhaps to Middle High German vegen to clean, sweep, Old Norse fāga to clean, decorate, Lithuanian puošti to decorate


a. : attractive in appearance : pleasant to view : beautiful , handsome , comely

the innkeeper had two fair daughters

forever wilt thou love and she be fair — John Keats

bedecked with garlands and flowers fair

our fair city

settle down in such a fair fat land and call good acres his own — Charles Kingsley

b. archaic : dear , kind — used in formal salutation chiefly in the phrase fair sir

your servant, fair sir — Max Peacock

c. : feminine

the fair sex

his fair companions

2. : pleasing to hear : inspiring hope or confidence often delusively : gracious , affable , civil , specious

in an evil hour she trusted his fair promises

trusted the enemy's fair words, and were immediately murdered — J.A.Froude


a. : having attraction or admirable qualities : pleasant to contemplate : agreeable , rich , considerable , worthy

the fair life of ancient Athens

a fair estate

cheapening a fair cause with shabby tactics

b. : somewhat above average : moderately numerous or large : pretty good : being without marked lack or defect : satisfactory , passable , sufficient , adequate

a fair proportion of the people … could read and write — G.M.Trevelyan

a fair knowledge of English and a smattering of Latin — W.E.Smith

made some fair guesses about the shape … of the universe — B.J.Bok

a crop of scrub pine, grown already to a fair height — Ellen Glasgow

received a grade of fair in English

his work is only fair , certainly not distinguished

c. of livestock

(1) : of middling quality ; specifically : third grade

(2) : reasonably plentiful in supply : not scarce


a. : free from spots or dirt : not sullied

a sheet of fair white paper

b. of water , archaic : not dirtied, soiled, or contaminated : pure

c. : free from moral stain : unsullied , unblemished

her fair name


(1) : distinct , legible

easily deciphering the old manuscript written in a fair hand

(2) : free from corrections : being the final draft

no private bill is permitted to be sent up … until a certificate is endorsed on the fair printed bill — T.E.May

e. : straight or smoothly curving : having no sudden angular deviation

f. : properly aligned : fitting together

fair rivet holes


a. : not stormy or foul : fine , cloudless

a fair sky

a fair day

b. : free or nearly free from rain, hail, or snow — used in the predictions issued by the United States Weather Bureau even if the weather is cloudy and threatening if less than one hundredth of an inch of precipitation occurs

6. : not dark or brunet : light , clear , blond

fair … with great wavy masses of golden hair — Bram Stoker


a. : characterized by honesty and justice : free from fraud, injustice, prejudice, or favoritism

you will find him a very fair man

determined to win by fair means or foul


(1) : conforming to an established commonly accepted code or rules of a game or other competitive activity

observers disagreed as to whether the blow was fair

believes in fair play in sports and business

(2) of a baseball field : lying between the foul lines

(3) : equitable as basis for exchange : reasonable

a fair valuation

a fair wage

(4) : conforming to its merits or importance : due

the subject has received its fair share of attention

(5) : having a certain basis in evidence or of reason : justified, valid

a fair assumption that regularities occur in history

he has a fair complaint

(6) : being a sufficient, equitable, or adequate basis for judgment or evaluation : typical , representative

a fair sample of his work

that is not a fair example

c. : legitimately open to attack or pursuit

the hypocrite is fair game to the satirist



(1) : promising , auspicious , likely

his prospects of future wealth were exceedingly fair — Jane Austen

in a fair way to realize a profit — Arnold Bennett

its cultures and institutions seem fair to become stabilized — Clark Wissler

(2) of the wind : favorable to a ship's course

sailed for France with a fair wind

(3) of the tide : running in the general direction of a ship's course

b. : neither favorable and promising nor unfavorable and discouraging : even

a fair bet that his team would win

9. archaic : free from obstacles : unobstructed , open

10. archaic : plainly visible : distinct

11. : utter , real , complete , full , stark , absolute

a fair miracle

a fair treat to watch him outsnob the snobs — New Republic

when a fair month had elapsed I did meet him again — James Stephens


fair , just , equitable , impartial , unbiased , dispassionate , uncolored , and objective can apply, in common, to judgments, judges, or acts resulting from judgments, and signify freedom from improper influence. fair , the most general of the terms, implies a disposition in a person or group to achieve a fitting and right balance of claims or considerations that is free from undue favoritism even to oneself, or implies a quality or result in an action befitting such a disposition

a fair trial for all offenders

a fair distribution of profits

a fair judge in a criminal trial

a fair estimate of his achievements

just stresses, more than fair , a disposition to conform with or conformity with the standard of what is right, true, or lawful, despite strong, especially personal, influences tending to subvert that conformity

a severe but just decision of the court

a just estimate of her personal qualities

a just statement of the facts

he was just — but not charitable; he was magnanimous — but not tolerant — H.S.Commager

equitable implies fair and equal treatment of all concerned, suggesting often a less rigid standard than just , as one that provides relief where rigid adherence to law would make for unfairness

the equitable distribution of essential commodities — U.S. Dept. of State Bulletin

develop an equitable and adequate tax structure throughout the country — Collier's Year Book

techniques that will make for more equitable access to higher education and vocational opportunity — W.H.Hale

impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice in judgment

judges as a rule sincerely and ardently desire to be impartial and just — M.R.Cohen

the law provides for the examination by neutral, impartial psychiatric experts of all persons indicted for a capital offense — Current Biography

unbiased emphasizes even more strongly than impartial the absence of prejudice, favoritism, or prepossession

to furnish the cabinet with unbiased and helpful advice on matters of state — R.M.Dawson

it is difficult to convince the average spectator or juror that the law enforcement officer is an unbiased objective witness — Paul Wilson

dispassionate usually implies freedom from all unduly influencing feeling or preconception, often implying temperateness or coolness, even coldness, in judgment

the dispassionate study of history — John Baillie

a dispassionate and objective description of the region — G.M.Foster

an economic report studiously dispassionate in temper and analytic in mode — Robert Leckachman

uncolored stresses a freedom from influences as prejudices or impulses to dramatize or embellish that detract from truthfulness or accuracy, as of news report

it is often difficult to find a newspaper with uncolored accounts of the news

to strive to give an uncolored report of one's experiences

objective implies a looking at something as apart, as disentangled from all personal feeling, prejudice, or opinion

he is not objective … but the slightest insight into historical processes to discover that objectivity, in the usual sense of that term, is unattainable in a serious political struggle — Philip Rahv

it has no direct interest in the construction industry and could be expected to approach the problem from a purely objective standpoint — Housing & Home Finance Agency Technical Bulletin

we shall be like ice when relating passions and adventures … we shall be … objective and impersonal — William Troy

Synonym: see in addition beautiful .

- fair to middling

II. adverb

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English faire, fair, from Old English fægre, from fæger, adjective


a. : in a fair manner : in an attractive or agreeable manner : pleasantly

the sun shone fair

b. : graciously , courteously — used chiefly in the phrase speak (one) fair

the sheriff felt that he must speak the prisoner fair — C.W.Chesnutt

c. : in an equitable manner

play fair

d. : auspiciously , promisingly

events promise fair

e. : clearly , plainly

write fair

2. obsolete : quietly , moderately

3. : evenly , squarely , full , plump , straight

the torpedo had struck fair on the starboard side — Time

the gabled houses leaned out over the streets, planted fair upon sturdy timbers — Lord Dunsany

you could have thrashed a battleship fair down midstream — C.E.W.Bean

4. : quite , completely , absolutely

he fair spurned the earth with arrogance — J.H.Wheelright

fair take one's breath away — David Hardman

fair blinding you with headlights — Richard Llewellyn

III. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English fairen, from fair, adjective

transitive verb

1. obsolete : to make beautiful : beautify

2. : to make smooth without hollows or bumps : even out (a curve or line) : shape

fair a ship's lines

— often used with up or off

it'll take a lot of … cookery to fair out the hollows in your outline — Llewellyn Howland


a. : to join one part of a structure with (another part) in such a way that there is a smooth blending of external surfaces — often used with into

an engine faired into a wing

a radiator from another make car with the original hood faired into it — B.H.Scott

b. : to provide (an airplane part) with a fairing

intransitive verb

of the weather : clear

it faired as the night went on — R.L.Stevenson

— often used with up or off

stopped on this porch till it faired up — Reader's Digest

it's faired off … we'll have a clear day tomorrow — Jessamyn West

IV. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fæger, from fæger, adjective

1. obsolete : fairness , beauty

2. archaic : a lovely woman : sweetheart

3. archaic : something that is fair or fortunate : good fortune

fair befall thee — Shakespeare

- for fair

- no fair

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English feire, faire, from Old French feire, foire, from Medieval Latin feria (also, weekday), from Late Latin, festal day (also, day of the week), back-formation from Latin feriae days of rest, holidays, festivals — more at feast


a. : a gathering of buyers and sellers at a particular place at a fixed time for purposes of trade

the village has a fair once a month — J.M.Mogey

b. : a competitive exhibition (as of wares, farm products, livestock) with prizes for excellence

an agricultural fair

— see county fair

c. : an exhibition designed to acquaint prospective buyers or the public at large with the range and quality of currently available or planned products

a book fair

a shoe fair

2. : a bazaar or sale of a collection of articles usually for some charitable purpose

a church fair

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.