Idioms

Origin of fair

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English fæger; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German fagar, Old Norse fagr, Gothic fagrs

SYNONYMS 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.
4 passable, tolerable, average, middling.
8 open, clear, unencumbered.
10 clean, spotless, pure, untarnished, unsullied, unstained.
11 legible, distinct.
12 blond, pale.
13 pretty, comely, lovely.
15 polite, gracious.

Related forms

fair·ness, noun

Can be confused

fair far fare
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fair and square (1 of 2)

Derived Forms

fairness, noun

Word Origin for fair

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

British Dictionary definitions for fair and square (2 of 2)

fair

2
/ (fɛə) /

noun

a travelling entertainment with sideshows, rides, etc, esp one that visits places at the same time each year
a gathering of producers of and dealers in a given class of products to facilitate businessa book fair
an event including amusements and the sale of goods, esp for a charity; bazaar
a regular assembly at a specific place for the sale of goods, esp livestock

Word Origin for 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

Idioms and Phrases with fair and square (1 of 2)

fair and square


Just and honest, as in He won the race fair and square. This redundant expression—fair and square mean essentially the same thing—probably owes its long life to its rhyme. [Early 1600s]

Idioms and Phrases with fair and square (2 of 2)

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.