Definition of fair adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//feə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fer//
    (fairer, fairest) Attractiveness, Hair colour, Female attractiveness, Skin
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  1. 1  acceptable and appropriate in a particular situation a fair deal/wage/price/question The punishment was very fair. In the end, a draw was a fair result. I give you fair warning, I’m not always this generous. fair to somebody (to do something) Was it really fair to him to ask him to do all the work? fair on somebody (to do something) It's not fair on the students to keep changing the timetable. fair to do something It's only fair to add that they were not told about the problem until the last minute. I think it is fair to say that they are pleased with this latest offer. fair that… It seems only fair that they should give us something in return. To be fair, she behaved better than we expected. (especially British English) ‘You should really have asked me first.’ ‘Right, okay, fair comment.’ opposite unfair
  2. treating people equally
  3. 2  treating everyone equally and according to the rules or law She has always been scrupulously fair. demands for a fairer distribution of wealth fair (to somebody) We have to be fair to both players. to receive a fair trial free and fair elections It's not fair! He always gets more than me. The new tax is fairer than the old system. They are fair and decent employers. his vision of a fairer, kinder society opposite unfair
  4. quite large
  5. 3  [only before noun] quite large in number, size or amount A fair number of people came along. a fair-sized town We've still got a fair bit (= quite a lot) to do. My birthday’s still a fair way off (= it’s still a long time until my birthday).
  6. quite good
  7. 4(especially British English) quite good There's a fair chance that we might win this time. It's a fair bet that they won't turn up. I have a fair idea of what happened. His knowledge of French is only fair.
  8. hair/skin
  9. 5  pale in colour a fair complexion She has long fair hair. All her children are fair (= they all have fair hair). See related entries: Hair colour, Skin
  10. opposite dark
  11. 6  bright and not raining synonym fine a fair and breezy day The day was set fair with the spring sun shining down.
  12. 7(literary) (of winds) not too strong and blowing in the right direction They set sail with the first fair wind.
  13. beautiful
  14. 8(literary or old use) beautiful a fair maiden See related entries: Attractiveness, Female attractiveness
  15. Word Originadjective Old English fæger ‘pleasing, attractive’, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German fagar. Wordfinderauburn, blonde, dark, fair, ginger, grey, jet black, mousy, redhead, sandyExtra examples I don’t care what he thinks. It seems perfectly fair to me. I’ll give you ten pounds each to make it fair. It’s hardly fair that I should be working while everyone else is enjoying themselves! It’s important to be scrupulously fair when grading the final exam paper. That doesn’t seem quite fair. That seems fair to all sides. To be fair, we hadn’t really spent enough time on the job. ‘You really should have asked me first.’ ‘OK. Fair comment.’ All we’re asking for is a fair wage. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. For the first time, free and fair elections will be held. I don’t think the sentence was very fair. I give you fair warning, I’m not always this generous. It was a fair and breezy day. It wasn’t really fair to ask him to do all the work. It’s a fair question, and it deserves to be taken seriously. It’s fair to say that they are pleased with the latest offer. It’s not fair on the students… It’s not fair to the students to keep changing the schedule. It’s not fair! He always gets more than me! It’s only fair to say that this is the first time she’s heard about the problem. It’s quite expensive, but I still think it’s a fair price. Scoring twenty points was a fair achievement. The day was set fair with the spring sun shining down. The new tax is fairer than the old one. They are demanding a fairer distribution of the earth’s resources. To be fair, she behaved better than we expected.Idioms
    all’s fair in love and war
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    (saying) in some situations any type of behaviour is acceptable to get what you want
    (informal) used to tell somebody to be reasonable in their judgement of somebody/something Be fair! She didn't know you were coming. using dishonest methods if honest ones do not work She’s determined to win, by fair means or foul.
    a fair crack of the whip
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    (British English, informal) a reasonable opportunity to show that you can do something I felt we weren't given a fair crack of the whip.
    (informal, especially British English) used to say that an idea or suggestion seems reasonable ‘We'll meet at 8.’ ‘Fair enough.’ If you don't want to come, fair enough, but let Bill know.
    (give somebody) a fair hearing
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    (to allow somebody) the opportunity to give their opinion of something before deciding if they have done something wrong, often in court I'll see that you get a fair hearing.
    fair’s fair (informal) (British English also fair dos/do’s)
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    used, especially as an exclamation, to say that you think that an action, decision, etc. is acceptable and appropriate because it means that everyone will be treated fairly Fair's fair—you can't expect them to cancel everything just because you can't make it. Come one, fair dos—you’ve had your chance, now let me try.
    (give somebody/get) a fair shake
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    (North American English, informal) (to give somebody/get) fair treatment that gives you the same chance as somebody else Are minority students getting a fair shake at college?
    (more than) your fair share of something
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    (more than) an amount of something that is considered to be reasonable or acceptable He has more than his fair share of problems. I've had my fair share of success in the past.
    (old-fashioned) not particularly good or bad ‘How are you feeling today?’ ‘Oh, fair to middling.’ (British English, informal, humorous) used by somebody who is caught doing something wrong, to say that they admit that they are wrong
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fair