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English definition of “fair”


adjective uk   /feər/ us    /fer/

fair adjective (RIGHT)

B1 treating someone in a way that is right or reasonable, or treating a group of people equally and not allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment: a fair trial Why should I have to do all the cleaning? It's not fair! It's not fair on Joe (= it is not right) to make him do all the work! It's not fair that she's allowed to go and I'm not! It's not fair to blame me for everything! She's scrupulously fair with all her employees (= she treats them all equally). She claims her article was a fair comment on (= a reasonable thing to say about) a matter of public interest. He offered to do all the cleaning if I did all the cooking, which seemed like a fair (= reasonable) deal.Justice and fairness B1 If something, such as a price or share, is fair, it is reasonable and is what you expect or deserve: I thought it was a fair price that she was offering. I'm willing to do my fair (= equal) share of the work. All the workers want is a fair wage for the work that they do.Justice and fairness If a game or competition is fair, it is done according to the rules: It was a fair fight.Justice and fairness it's only fair it is the right way to treat someone and what they deserve: I think it's only fair to tell you that we have had over 300 applications for this job.Justice and fairness it's fair to say it is true to say: I think it's fair to say (that) you've done less of the work than I have.True, real, false, and unreal to be fair considering everything that has an effect on a situation, so that a fair judgment can be made: He's done the job badly but, to be fair, I gave him very little time to do it.Justice and fairnessConnecting words which express a contrast fair enough B2 UK informal something you say to show that you understand why someone has done or said something: "I'm just annoyed with him because he's behaved so badly." "Fair enough."Words and phrases expressing agreement and acceptance fair's fair (also fair dos) informal something that you say when you want someone to behave reasonably or treat you the same as other people: Come on, it's my turn. Fair's fair!Justice and fairness a fair hearing an opportunity to explain something or give your opinions, without other people trying to influence the situation: He didn't feel he got a fair hearing in court.Justice and fairness fair and square in an honest way and without any doubt: We won the match fair and square.Honesty, openness and sincerityJustice and fairness UK (US squarely) If you hit someone fair and square on a particular part of their body, you hit that person hard, exactly on that part: He hit me fair and square on the nose.Accurate and exact

fair adjective (PALE)

A2 (of skin) pale, or (of hair) pale yellow or gold: She's got fair hair and blue eyes. a fair complexion My sister's dark and my brother's fair (= he has fair hair). He's fair-haired. All my family are fair-skinned.Hair colourThe skin, and skin colour

fair adjective (QUITE LARGE)

C2 [before noun] quite large: We've had a fair amount of rain this week. We've had a fair number of applicants. It's a fair-sized garden. We've come a long way, but there's still a fair way (= quite a long distance) to go.Big and quite bigEnormous

fair adjective (AVERAGE)

C2 [after verb] neither very good nor very bad: Films are rated on a scale of poor, fair, good and excellent. I was fair at science but it was never my thing.Quite good, or not very goodSuitable and acceptable

fair adjective (QUITE GOOD)

[before noun] (of an idea, guess, or chance) good, but not excellent: I think I've got a fair idea of (= I understand reasonably well) what you want. She's got a fair chance of winning (= there is a reasonable chance that she will win).Possible and probable

fair adjective (WEATHER)

(of weather) pleasant and dry: Fair weather was forecast for the following day.Describing good weather

fair adjective (BEAUTIFUL)

old use or literary (of a woman) beautiful: a fair maidenAttractiveSexual attractionSmart and elegant


noun [C] uk   /feər/ us    /fer/
a large public event where goods are bought and sold, usually from tables that have been specially arranged for the event, and where there is often entertainment: I bought a wooden salad bowl at the local craft fair.Celebrations, parties and special occasionsSpecific holidays and festivals B1 (UK also funfair, US also carnival) an outside event where you can ride on large machines for pleasure and play games to win prizesCelebrations, parties and special occasionsSpecific holidays and festivals C1 a large show at which people who work in a particular industry meet, and sell and advertise their products: a book/antiques/toy fair a trade fairShops, markets and auctionsRestaurants and cafesBuildings in general a public event in the countryside where farm animals and farm products are sold: a cattle/agricultural fairUS a county/state fairShops, markets and auctionsRestaurants and cafesBuildings in general mainly US for fete nounCelebrations, parties and special occasionsSpecific holidays and festivals
(Definition of fair from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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