Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An auxiliary structure or the external surface of a vehicle, such as an aircraft, that serves to reduce drag.
  • n. Chiefly British A gift, especially one bought or given at a fair.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Present participle of fair.
  • n. A structure on various parts of a vehicle, for example an aircraft, automobile, or motorcycle, that produces a smooth exterior and reduces drag
  • n. A present; originally, one given or purchased at a fair. (Uncommon)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A present; originally, one given or purchased at a fair.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A present bought or given at a fair, or brought from a fair.
  • n. Ironically, something unpleasant bestowed as a gift.

Etymologies

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  • But here in the present case, to carry on the volant metaphor (for I must either be merry, or mad), is a pretty little miss just come out of her hanging-sleeve-coat, brought to buy a pretty little fairing; for the world, Jack, is but a great fair, thou knowest; and, to give thee serious reflection for serious, all its joys but tinselled hobby-horses, gilt gingerbread, squeaking trumpets, painted drums, and so forth.

    Lovelace to Belford, Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    January 4, 2008