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See also: Fair, fáir, and fair-



Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fayr, feir, fager, from Old English fæġer (fair, lovely, beautiful; pleasant, agreeable; attractive), from Proto-Germanic *fagraz (suitable, fitting, nice), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂ḱ- (to fasten, place). Cognate with Scots fayr, fare (fair), Danish feir, faver, fager (fair, pretty), Norwegian fager (fair, pretty), Swedish fager (fair, pretty), Icelandic fagur (beautiful, fair), Umbrian pacer (gracious, merciful, kind), Slovak pekný (good-looking, handsome, nice).


fair (comparative fairer, superlative fairest)

  1. (literary or archaic) 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.
    • 1917, Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars, HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2008:
      "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.
    • 2010, Stephan Grundy, Beowulf (Fiction), iUniverse, ISBN 9781440156977, page 33:
      And yet he was also, though many generations separated them, distant cousin to the shining eoten-main Geard, whom the god Frea Ing had seen from afar and wedded; and to Scatha, the fair daughter of the old thurse Theasa, who had claimed a husband from among the gods as weregild for her father's slaying: often, it was said, the ugliest eotens would sire the fairest maids.
  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.
    • Book of Common Prayer
      a fair white linen cloth
  3. Light in color, pale, particularly as regards 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.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      “[…] 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.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 3, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      My hopes wa'n't disappointed. I never saw clams thicker than they was along them inshore flats. I filled my dreener in no time, and then it come to me that 'twouldn't be a bad idee to get a lot more, take 'em with me to Wellmouth, and peddle 'em out. Clams was fairly scarce over that side of the bay and ought to fetch a fair price.
  6. (nautical, of a wind) Favorable to a ship's course.
  7. Not overcast; cloudless; clear; pleasant; propitious; said of the sky, weather, or wind, etc.
    a fair sky;  a fair day
    • Matthew Prior (1664-1721)
      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
    • Sir Walter Raleigh (ca.1554-1618)
      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.
Derived terms[edit]


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.
    • Here Jones, having ordered a servant to show a room above stairs, was ascending, when the dishevelled fair, hastily following, was laid hold on by the master of the house, who cried, “Heyday, where is that beggar wench going? Stay below stairs, I desire you.”
    • 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
  4. A fair woman; a sweetheart.
    • Shenstone
      I have found out a gift for my fair.
  5. (obsolete) Good fortune; good luck.
    • Shakespeare
      Now fair befall thee!


fair (third-person singular simple present fairs, present participle fairing, simple past and past participle faired)

  1. To smoothen or even a surface (especially a connection or junction on a surface).
  2. 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. (obsolete) To make fair or beautiful.
    • Shakespeare
      Fairing the foul.
  • (to reduce air drag or water resistance): to streamline
Derived terms[edit]


fair (comparative more fair or fairer, superlative most fair or fairest)

  1. clearly, openly, frankly, civilly, honestly, favorably, auspiciously, agreeably
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French feire, from Latin fēriae.


fair (plural fairs)

  1. A community gathering to celebrate and exhibit local achievements.
  2. An event for public entertainment and trade, a market.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The turmoil went on—no rest, no peace. […] It was nearly eleven o'clock now, and he strolled out again. In the little fair created by the costers' barrows the evening only seemed beginning; and the naphtha flares made one's eyes ache, the men's voices grated harshly, and the girls' faces saddened one.
  3. An event for professionals in a trade to learn of new products and do business, a trade fair.
  4. A funfair, an amusement park.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: bad · forward · remember · #519: fair · blood · copyright · late





From English fair.


fair (not comparable)

  1. just, equitable, adequate, honest, in good spirit
    ein faires Spiel
    Es ist nur fair, auch wenn alle gleich schlecht behandelt werden.




Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • fair in Duden online




fair (present analytic faireann, future analytic fairfidh, verbal noun faire, past participle fairthe)

  1. to watch



Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
fair fhair bhfair
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.