[ fair ]
See synonyms for fair on Thesaurus.com
adjective,fair·er, fair·est.
  1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision;a fair judge.

  2. legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.

  1. moderately large; ample: a fair income.

  2. of a light hue; not dark: fair skin.

  3. pleasing in appearance; attractive: a fair young maiden.

  4. neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.

  5. marked by favoring conditions; promising: I can now assure my two little daughters of a fair future.The chief medical officer pronounced him in a fair way to recovery.

  6. Meteorology.

    • (of the sky) bright; sunny; cloudless to half-cloudy.

    • (of the weather) fine; with no prospect of rain, snow, or hail; not stormy.

  7. unobstructed; not blocked up: The way was fair for our advance.

  8. without irregularity or unevenness: a fair surface.

  9. free from blemish, imperfection, or anything that impairs the appearance, quality, or character: Her fair reputation was ruined by gossip.

  10. easy to read; clear: fair handwriting.

  11. seemingly good or sincere but not really so: The suitor beguiled his mistress with fair speeches.

  12. courteous; civil: fair words.

  13. Nautical. (of a wind or tide) tending to aid the progress of a vessel.

  14. Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs and other favorable indicators, as appetite and mobility, but being in some discomfort and having the possibility of a worsening state.

  15. Dialect. scarcely; barely: It was just fair daylight when we started working.

adverb,fair·er, fair·est.
  1. in a fair manner: He doesn't play fair.

  2. straight; directly, as in aiming or hitting: He threw the ball fair to the goal.

  1. favorably; auspiciously.

  2. British, Australian. entirely; completely; quite: It happened so quickly that it fair took my breath away.

  1. Archaic. something that is fair.

  2. Archaic.

    • a woman.

    • a beloved woman.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make the connection or junction of (surfaces) smooth and even.

  2. Shipbuilding.

    • to draw and adjust (the lines of a hull being designed) to produce regular surfaces of the correct form.

    • to adjust the form of (a frame or templet) in accordance with a design, or cause it to conform to the general form of a hull.

    • to restore (a bent plate or structural member) to its original form.

    • to align (the frames of a vessel under construction) in proper position.

  1. to bring (rivet holes in connecting structural members) into perfect alignment.

  2. Obsolete. to make fair.

Verb Phrases
  1. fair off / up South Midland and Southern U.S. (of the weather) to clear: It's supposed to fair off toward evening.

Idioms about fair

  1. bid fair, to seem likely: This entry bids fair to win first prize.

  2. fair and square,

    • honestly; justly; straightforwardly: He won the race fair and square.

    • honest; just; straightforward: He was admired for being fair and square in all his dealings.

  1. fair to middling, Informal. only tolerably good; so-so.

Origin of fair

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English fæger “beautiful, attractive”; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German fagar, “beautiful, peaceful,” fagr, “beautiful, bright,” Gothic fagrs “fitting”

synonym study For fair

1. Fair, impartial, disinterested, unprejudiced refer to lack of bias in opinions, judgments, etc. Fair implies the treating of all sides alike, justly and equitably: a fair compromise. Impartial, like fair, implies showing no more favor to one side than another, but suggests particularly a judicial consideration of a case: an impartial judge. Disinterested implies a fairness arising particularly from lack of desire to obtain a selfish advantage: The motives of her guardian were entirely disinterested. Unprejudiced means not influenced or swayed by bias, or by prejudice caused by irrelevant considerations: an unprejudiced decision.

Other words for fair

Other words from fair

  • fairness, noun

Words that may be confused with fair

Other definitions for fair (2 of 2)

[ fair ]

  1. an exhibition, usually competitive, of farm products, livestock, etc., often combined with entertainment and held annually by a county or state.

  2. a periodic gathering of buyers and sellers in an appointed place.

  1. an exposition in which different exhibitors participate, sometimes with the purpose of buying or selling: More than twenty-five employers with multiple open positions will be meeting with applicants at this weekend’s job fair.

  2. an exhibition and sale of articles to raise money, often for some charitable purpose.

Origin of fair

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English feire, from Anglo-French, Old French, from Late Latin fēria “religious festival, holiday” (Medieval Latin: “market”), in Latin only plural; akin to feast

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fair in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fair (1 of 2)


/ (fɛə) /

  1. free from discrimination, dishonesty, etc; just; impartial

  2. in conformity with rules or standards; legitimate: a fair fight

  1. (of the hair or complexion) light in colour

  2. beautiful or lovely to look at

  3. moderately or quite good: a fair piece of work

  4. unblemished; untainted

  5. (of the tide or wind) favourable to the passage of a vessel

  6. sunny, fine, or cloudless

  7. (prenominal) informal thorough; real: a fair battle to get to the counter

  8. pleasant or courteous

  9. apparently good or valuable, but really false: fair words

  10. open or unobstructed: a fair passage

  11. Australian (of handwriting) clear and legible

  12. a fair crack of the whip, Australian a fair shake of the dice or a fair go informal a fair opportunity; fair chance

  13. fair and square in a correct or just way

  14. fair do's

    • equal shares or treatment

    • an expression of appeal for equal shares or treatment

  15. fair enough! an expression of agreement

  16. fair go! Australian and NZ informal come off it!; I don't believe it!

  17. fair to middling about average

  1. in a fair way; correctly: act fair, now!

  2. absolutely or squarely; quite: the question caught him fair off his guard

  1. dialect really or very: fair tired

  1. (intr) dialect (of the weather) to become fine and mild

  1. archaic a person or thing that is beautiful or valuable, esp a woman

Origin of fair

Old English fæger; related to Old Norse fagr, Old Saxon, Old High German fagar, Gothic fagrs suitable

Derived forms of fair

  • fairness, noun

British Dictionary definitions for fair (2 of 2)


/ (fɛə) /

  1. a travelling entertainment with sideshows, rides, etc, esp one that visits places at the same time each year

  2. a gathering of producers of and dealers in a given class of products to facilitate business: a book fair

  1. an event including amusements and the sale of goods, esp for a charity; bazaar

  2. a regular assembly at a specific place for the sale of goods, esp livestock

Origin of fair

C13: from Old French feire, from Late Latin fēria holiday, from Latin fēriae days of rest: related to festus festal

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with fair


In addition to the idioms beginning with fair

  • fair and square
  • fair enough
  • fair game
  • fair play
  • fair sex
  • fair shake, a
  • fair to middling
  • fairy godmother

also see:

  • all's fair in love and war
  • play fair
  • turnabout is fair play

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.