• (RP) IPA: /fɛə/, /fɛː/
  • (GA) IPA: /fɛɚ/
  • (AU) IPA: /feː(ə)/
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /fɪə/

fair (comparative fairer, superlative fairest)

  1. (archaic or literary) Beautiful, of a pleasing appearance, with a pure and fresh quality.
    Monday's child is fair of face.
    There was once a knight who wooed a fair young maid.
    • 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
      He is so fair, without lease, he seems full well to sit on this.
    • 1912 February–July, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Under the Moons of Mars”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., OCLC 17392886 ↗; republished as “Champion and Chief”, in A Princess of Mars, Chicago, Ill.: A[lexander] C[aldwell] McClurg & Co., 1917, OCLC 419578288 ↗, page 96 ↗:
      "It was a purely scientific research party sent out by my father's father, the Jeddak of Helium, to rechart the air currents, and to take atmospheric density tests," replied the fair prisoner, in a low, well-modulated voice.
  2. Unblemished (figuratively or literally); clean and pure; innocent.
    one's fair name
    After scratching out and replacing various words in the manuscript, he scribed a fair copy to send to the publisher.
    • 1605, Book of Common Prayer, London: Robert Barker, “The order for the administration of the Lords Supper, or holy Communion,”
      The Table hauing at the Communion time a faire white linnen cloth vpon it, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the Chancell, where Morning prayer and Euening prayer be appointed to be said.
    • 1665, Robert Hooke, Micrographia, London, Observation 21, “Of Moss, and several other small vegetative Substances,” p. 135,
      [...] I have observ’d, that putting fair Water (whether Rain-water or Pump-water, or May-dew, or Snow-water, it was almost all one) I have often observ’d, I say, that this Water would, with a little standing, tarnish and cover all about the sides of the Glass that lay under water, with a lovely green [...]
  3. Light in color, pale, particularly with regard to skin tone but also referring to blond hair.
    She had fair hair and blue eyes.
  4. Just, equitable.
    He must be given a fair trial.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314 ↗, page 0029 ↗:
      “[…] it is not fair of you to bring against mankind double weapons ! Dangerous enough you are as woman alone, without bringing to your aid those gifts of mind suited to problems which men have been accustomed to arrogate to themselves.”
  5. Adequate, reasonable, or decent.
    The patient was in a fair condition after some treatment.
  6. (nautical, of a wind) Favorable to a ship's course.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 563:
      I shipped with them and becoming friends, we set forth on our venture, in health and safety; and sailed with a fair wind, till we came to a city called Madínat-al-Sín; [...]
  7. Not overcast; cloudless; clear; pleasant; propitious; said of the sky, weather, or wind, etc.
    a fair sky;  a fair day
    • You wish fair winds may waft him over.
  8. Free from obstacles or hindrances; unobstructed; unencumbered; open; direct; said of a road, passage, etc.
    a fair mark;  in fair sight;  a fair view
    • The caliphs obtained a mighty empire, which was in a fair way to have enlarged.
  9. (shipbuilding) Without sudden change of direction or curvature; smooth; flowing; said of the figure of a vessel, and of surfaces, water lines, and other lines.
  10. (baseball) Between the baselines.
  11. (rugby, of a catch) Taken direct from an opponent's foot, without the ball touching the ground or another player.
  12. (cricket, of a ball delivered by the bowler) Not a no-ball.
  13. (statistics) Of a coin or die, having equal chance of landing on any side, unbiased.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Spanish: viento de popa
Translations Noun

fair (plural fair)

  1. Something which is fair (in various senses of the adjective).
    When will we learn to distinguish between the fair and the foul?
  2. (obsolete) A woman, a member of the ‘fair sex’; also as a collective singular, women.
    • 1744, Georg Friedrich Händel, Hercules, act 2, scene 8
      Love and Hymen, hand in hand, / Come, restore the nuptial band! / And sincere delights prepare / To crown the hero and the fair.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume (please specify ), London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗:
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, III.24:
      If single, probably his plighted Fair / Has in his absence wedded some rich miser [...].
  3. (obsolete) Fairness, beauty.
  4. A fair woman; a sweetheart.
    • Shenstone
      I have found out a gift for my fair.
  5. (obsolete) Good fortune; good luck.
    • circa 1590-92 William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew, Act V scene ii:
      Now, fair befall thee, good Petruchio!

fair (fairs, present participle fairing; past and past participle faired)

  1. (transitive) To smoothen or even a surface (especially a connection or junction on a surface).
  2. (transitive) To bring into perfect alignment (especially about rivet holes when connecting structural members).
  3. To construct or design a structure whose primary function is to produce a smooth outline or reduce air drag or water resistance.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To make fair or beautiful.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 123”, in Shake-speares Sonnets. Neuer before Imprinted, London: By G[eorge] Eld for T[homas] T[horpe] and are to be sold by William Aspley, OCLC 216596634 ↗:
      Fairing the foul with art’s false borrow’d face
  • (to reduce air drag or water resistance) to streamline


  1. clearly, openly, frankly, civilly, honestly, favorably, auspiciously, agreeably

fair (plural fairs)

  1. A community gathering to celebrate and exhibit local achievements.
  2. An event for public entertainment and trade, a market.
  3. An event for professionals in a trade to learn of new products and do business, a trade fair.
  4. A travelling amusement park (called a funfair in British English and a (travelling) carnival in US English).
Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Ausstellung, Messe
  • Italian: fiera
  • Portuguese: feira profissional, feira industrial, feira empresarial
  • Russian: вы́ставка
  • Spanish: feria de muestras

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