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2017 Word of the Year

fairly

[fair-lee] /ˈfɛər li/
adverb
1.
in a fair manner; justly or honestly; impartially.
2.
moderately; tolerably:
a fairly heavy rain.
3.
properly; legitimately:
a claim fairly made.
4.
clearly; distinctly:
fairly seen.
5.
Chiefly Southern U.S.
  1. actually; completely:
    The wheels fairly spun.
  2. almost; practically:
    He slipped off the roof and fairly broke his neck.
6.
Obsolete. softly.
7.
Obsolete. courteously.
Origin of fairly
1350-1400
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at fair1, -ly
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fairly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And there was the wench too—he had fairly forgotten her name.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • It was trusted often, was in attendance on the Emperor, and was fairly well paid.

    The Armourer's Prentices Charlotte M. Yonge
  • There is no height to which you may not fairly rise in this country.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • And yet in the end Pop was able to muster a fairly good imitation of a frown.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He could not go until he saw Mark fairly started on the way of recovery.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for fairly

fairly

/ˈfɛəlɪ/
adverb
1.
(not used with a negative) moderately
2.
as deserved; justly
3.
(not used with a negative) positively; absolutely: the hall fairly rang with applause
4.
(archaic) clearly
5.
(obsolete) courteously
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fairly
adv.

c.1400, "handsomely," from fair (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "impartially" is from 1670s; "somewhat" is from 1805; meaning "totally" is earlier (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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