[ uhn-fair ]
/ ʌnˈfɛər /


not fair; not conforming to approved standards, as of justice, honesty, or ethics: an unfair law; an unfair wage policy.
disproportionate; undue; beyond what is proper or fitting: an unfair share.

Nearby words

  1. unexpurgated,
  2. unfaced,
  3. unfact,
  4. unfailing,
  5. unfailingly,
  6. unfair competition,
  7. unfair practice,
  8. unfairly,
  9. unfaith,
  10. unfaithful

Origin of unfair

before 900; 1705–15 for def 1; Middle English: uncomely, ugly; Old English unfæger; cognate with Old Norse ūfagr. See un-1, fair1

Related formsun·fair·ly, adverbun·fair·ness, noun

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

Examples from the Web for unfair

British Dictionary definitions for unfair


/ (ʌnˈfɛə) /


characterized by inequality or injustice
dishonest or unethical
Derived Formsunfairly, adverbunfairness, noun

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 unfair



Old English unfægr "unlovely," from un- (1) "not" + fair. Cf. Old Norse ufagr, Gothic unfagrs. Meaning "wicked, evil, bad" is recorded from c.1300. Sense of "not equitable, unjust" is first recorded 1713. Related: Unfairly; unfairness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper