From fair to middling
Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f["u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and prob. also to E. fang, peace, pact, Cf. {Fang}, {Fain}, {Fay} to fit.] 1. Free from spots, specks, dirt, or imperfection; unblemished; clean; pure. [1913 Webster]

A fair white linen cloth. --Book of Common Prayer. [1913 Webster]

2. Pleasing to the eye; handsome; beautiful. [1913 Webster]

Who can not see many a fair French city, for one fair French made. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Without a dark hue; light; clear; as, a fair skin. [1913 Webster]

The northern people large and fair-complexioned. --Sir M. Hale. [1913 Webster]

4. Not overcast; cloudless; clear; pleasant; propitious; favorable; -- said of the sky, weather, or wind, etc.; as, a fair sky; a fair day. [1913 Webster]

You wish fair winds may waft him over. --Prior. [1913 Webster]

5. Free from obstacles or hindrances; unobstructed; unincumbered; open; direct; -- said of a road, passage, etc.; as, a fair mark; in fair sight; a fair view. [1913 Webster]

The caliphs obtained a mighty empire, which was in a fair way to have enlarged. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster]

6. (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. [1913 Webster]

7. Characterized by frankness, honesty, impartiality, or candor; open; upright; free from suspicion or bias; equitable; just; -- said of persons, character, or conduct; as, a fair man; fair dealing; a fair statement. ``I would call it fair play.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

8. Pleasing; favorable; inspiring hope and confidence; -- said of words, promises, etc. [1913 Webster]

When fair words and good counsel will not prevail on us, we must be frighted into our duty. --L' Estrange. [1913 Webster]

9. Distinct; legible; as, fair handwriting. [1913 Webster]

10. Free from any marked characteristic; average; middling; as, a fair specimen. [1913 Webster]

The news is very fair and good, my lord. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Fair ball}. (Baseball) (a) A ball passing over the home base at the height called for by the batsman, and delivered by the pitcher while wholly within the lines of his position and facing the batsman. (b) A batted ball that falls inside the foul lines; -- called also a {fair hit}.

{Fair maid}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) The European pilchard ({Clupea pilchardus}) when dried. (b) The southern scup ({Stenotomus Gardeni}). [Virginia]

{Fair one}, a handsome woman; a beauty,

{Fair play}, equitable or impartial treatment; a fair or equal chance; justice.

{From fair to middling}, passable; tolerable. [Colloq.]

{The fair sex}, the female sex.

Syn: Candid; open; frank; ingenuous; clear; honest; equitable; impartial; reasonable. See {Candid}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Fair — (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and prob. also… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fair ball — Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fair hit — Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fair maid — Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fair one — Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fair play — Fair Fair (f[^a]r), a. [Compar. {Fairer}; superl. {Fairest}.] [OE. fair, fayer, fager, AS. f[ae]ger; akin to OS. & OHG. fagar, Icel. fagr, Sw. fager, Dan. faver, Goth. fagrs fit, also to E. fay, G. f[ u]gen, to fit. fegen to sweep, cleanse, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fair — fair1 [fer] adj. [ME < OE fæger, akin to FAIN, Goth fagrs, apt, fit < IE base * pek , to be content, make (something) pretty > Lith púošiu, to ornament] 1. attractive; beautiful; lovely 2. unblemished; clean [a fair name] 3. [< notion …   English World dictionary

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