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



    BrE BrE//feə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//fer//
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  1. 1(British English also funfair) (North American English also carnival) a type of entertainment in a field or park at which people can ride on large machines and play games to win prizes Let's take the kids to the fair. all the fun of the fair
  2. 2(North American English) a type of entertainment in a field or park at which farm animals and products are shown and take part in competitions the county/state fair
  3. 3(British English) = fete (1)
  4. business
  5. 4an event at which people, businesses, etc. show and sell their goods a world trade fair a craft/a book/an antique fair
  6. animal market
  7. 5(British English) (in the past) a market at which animals were sold a horse fair CulturefairsSome British fairs, such as St Giles Fair in Oxford and the Goose Fair in Nottingham, date back hundreds of years. They are travelling fairs that occupy part of a town centre for a few days each year. The people who run the fairs usually live in caravans. Originally, animals were sold at these fairs and people could change employers there. The Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria still has animals, but most fairs now consist only of fairground rides (= machines that move round fast or swing from side to side while people are sitting on them) and amusements such as rifle ranges where people shoot to win prizes. They are especially popular with children and young people and some holiday towns, for example Blackpool, have permanent fairgrounds. In modern times a number of theme parks, such as Alton Towers, have also been developed, in which the rides are based on particular ideas or themes.Some fairs in the US also have long histories. State and county fairs held at the end of summer were important in the days when transport was limited and most Americans were farmers living far from the nearest town. They provided an opportunity to see friends, buy supplies and look at the latest farm equipment. People entered their best animals in competitions and afterwards sold them. Today there are also competitions for crops, e.g. the sweetest corn, and for home crafts like baking and sewing. The winner of the first prize gets a blue ribbon. In Britain, competitions like these take place at village horticultural shows and agricultural shows, such as the Royal Show. Many Americans who are not farmers go to fairs for other kinds of entertainment. There is a midway, a large area with different kinds of rides and games, and an area where ice cream, pies and candy (BrE sweets) are sold. The US also has permanent amusement parks or theme parks, which have rides like those at British fairs.Fairs and amusement parks in Britain and the US typically include rides such as merry-go-rounds or carousels (= roundabouts), shooting galleries, where people can win small prizes by shooting at targets, and stalls selling traditional food such as candy floss (AmE cotton candy; pink spun sugar on a stick), toffee apples (AmE candy apples; apples coated in a boiled sugar mixture) and hot dogs (= sausages in bread rolls). Many have a Ferris wheel, also called a big wheel (= a large wheel with seats that turns and lifts customers high into the air), bumper cars (BrE also dodgems; small cars in which people crash into each other), a helter-skelter (= a tall, circular slide), and a roller coaster or big dipper (= a steep track on which people ride in special cars). There is often a ‘dark ride’ or ghost train (= a ride in the dark past things that jump out or make a frightening noise).In Britain and the US other events are sometimes called fairs. At craft fairs (AmE arts and crafts fairs) people sell things they have made, e.g. pottery, jewellery, candles and leather goods. But trade fairs are large events where business companies show their products and make new contacts.
  8. jobs
  9. 6job/careers fair an event at which people who are looking for jobs can get information about companies who might employ them
  10. Word Originnoun Middle English (in the sense ‘periodic gathering for the sale of goods’): from Old French feire, from late Latin feria, singular of Latin feriae ‘holy days’ (on which such fairs were often held).Extra examples I bought it at a local craft fair. She is organizing next year’s book fair. The city is holding its annual trade fair in May this year. We all went south for the state fair.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: fair