Nearby words

  1. faintly,
  2. faintness,
  3. faints,
  4. fainty,
  5. fainéant,
  6. fair and square,
  7. fair ball,
  8. fair catch,
  9. fair copy,
  10. fair deal

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 formsfair·ness, noun

Can be confusedfair far fare

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


British Dictionary definitions for fair to middling
Derived Formsfairness, noun

Word Origin for fair

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

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

Word Origin and History for fair to middling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with fair to middling

fair to middling

Mediocre, pretty good, so-so, as in I asked them how they liked their new home and John answered, “Fair to middling. This phrase, often a reply to an inquiry about one's health, business, or the like, is redundant, since fair and middling both mean “moderately good.” [Mid-1800s] Also see can't complain.

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.