Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of pleasing appearance, especially because of a pure or fresh quality; comely.
  • adjective Light in color, especially blond.
  • adjective Of light complexion.
  • adjective Free of clouds or storms; clear and sunny.
  • adjective Free of blemishes or stains; clean and pure.
  • adjective Promising; likely.
  • adjective Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial.
  • adjective Just to all parties; equitable.
  • adjective Being in accordance with relative merit or significance.
  • adjective Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics.
  • adjective Moderately good; acceptable or satisfactory.
  • adjective Superficially true or appealing; specious.
  • adjective Lawful to hunt or attack.
  • adjective Archaic Free of all obstacles.
  • adverb In a proper or legal manner.
  • adverb Directly; straight.
  • transitive verb To join (pieces) so as to be smooth, even, or regular.
  • noun Archaic A beautiful or beloved woman.
  • noun Obsolete Loveliness; beauty.
  • idiom (fair and square) Just and honest.
  • idiom (for fair) To the greatest or fullest extent possible.
  • idiom (no fair) Something contrary to the rules.
  • noun A gathering held at a specified time and place for the buying and selling of goods; a market.
  • noun An exhibition, as of farm products or manufactured goods, usually accompanied by various competitions and entertainments.
  • noun An exhibition intended to inform people about a product or business opportunity.
  • noun An event, usually for the benefit of a charity or public institution, including entertainment and the sale of goods; a bazaar.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Kindly; civilly; complaisantly; courteously.
  • Honorably; honestly.
  • Auspiciously; favorably; happily.
  • Fairly; clearly.
  • Correctly; straight or direct, as in aiming or hitting.
  • To make fair or beautiful.
  • Nautical, to adjust; make regular, or fair and smooth; specifically, to form in correct shape, as the timbers of a ship.
  • To become fair or beautiful.
  • To clear up; cease raining: applied to the weather, in reference to preceding rain: followed commonly by up or off.
  • noun Doing; action; affair.
  • Same as fare.
  • noun A stated market in a particular town or city; a regular meeting of buyers and sellers for trade.
  • noun An occasional joint exhibition of articles for sale or inspection; a sale or an exhibition of goods for the promotion of some public interest or the aid of some public charity (see bazaar, 2): as, an agricultural fair; a church fair.
  • noun Market; chance of selling.
  • Beautiful; comely; free from disfigurement or incongruity; pleasing to the eye: as, a fair landscape.
  • Free from imperfections or blemish; pure, clean, unspotted, untarnished, etc.; free from anything that might impair the appearance, quality, or character; not foul: as, a fair copy; fair skies; fair fame.
  • Of a light hue; clear in color; not dusky or sallow; not discolored: as, a fair skin or complexion; fair hair; the English are a fair race.
  • Free from obscurity or doubt; clear; distinct; positive; direct: as, to get a fair view of a prospect; to take a fair aim.
  • Marked by favoring conditions; affording ample facility or advantage; unobstructed; favorable: as, a fair field and no favor; a fair mark; in a fair way to success; a fair subject of ridicule.
  • Comparatively favorable or propitious; not obstructive or forbidding; moderately fit or suitable: as, fair weather (as distinguished from clear or foul weather).
  • Free from guile, harm, or injustice; not wrongful, erroneous, or blameworthy; impartial; honest; equitable: used both of persons and of things: as, fair dealing; a fair debater; a fair decision.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English fæger, lovely, pleasant.]

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

[Middle English faire, from Old French feire, from Late Latin fēria, sing. of Latin fēriae, holidays; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French feire, from Latin fēriae.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English fæġer, from Proto-Germanic *fagraz. Cognate with Norwegian fager, Swedish fager.

Examples

  • The merchant was generally offered a fair price for his bread or corn, and if he refused to accept it, rioters seized the goods, distributed them, and left the “fair” price in exchange.

    1753

  • "None deserve the fair but the _brave_ [_deserve the fair_."] "They postpone the thing which [_they ought to do, and do not] but_ which [_thing_] they cannot avoid purposing to do."

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures

  • He objects to the expression, "eyes so fair," saying _fair_ is a bad word for eyes.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 104, June, 1866

  • Daura, my daughter, thou wert fair, —fair as the moon on Fura, white as the driven snow, sweet as the breathing gale.

    The Editor to the Reader

  • River, which has since been "improved" out of existence, -- was a favorite place of resort with my old friend and his fair companion -- _fair_, no doubt she was, albeit her beauty was hidden from the vulgar gaze in the manner already indicated.

    Ups and Downs in the Life of a Distressed Gentleman

  • Mr. Vincent will be left in the lurch; he will not even have the lady's fair hand -- her _fair_ heart is

    Tales and Novels — Volume 03

  • English Clay had never considered the matter in this view before; but now it was pointed out, he confessed it struck him as _very fair -- very fair_: and his pride, of which he had a comfortable portion, being now touched, he asserted both his disinterestedness and his right to judge and choose in this business entirely for himself.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 07

  • I. i.10 (396,5) Fair is foul, and foul is fair] I believe the meaning is, that _to us_, perverse and malignant as we are, _fair is foul, and foul is fair_.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • Here we are four years later, and President Obama on Tuesday night linked the term "fair" to U.S. tax and economic policy seven times.

    The Buffett Ruse

  • Synder's tax plan may be simple and efficient, but the word fair means different things to different people.

    Paul Ruth: To Give or Not to Give, Is That Really the Question?

Comments

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  • Contronymic in the sense: fine vs. mediocre.

    January 27, 2007

  • Rubio (pelo) // Similar meaning: blond, blonde // WordReference

    October 19, 2007