Etymology: Middle English fager, fair, from Old English fæger; akin to Old High German fagar beautiful
Date: before 12th century
1. pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality
2. superficially pleasing ; specious <she trusted his fair promises> 3. a. clean, pure <fair sparkling water> b. clear, legible 4. not stormy or foul ; fine <fair weather> 5. ample <a fair estate> 6. a. marked by impartiality and honesty ; free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism <a very fair person to do business with> b. (1) conforming with the established rules ; allowed (2) consonant with merit or importance ; due <a fair share> c. open to legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule <fair game> 7. a. promising, likely <in a fair way to win> b. favorable to a ship's course <a fair wind> 8. archaic free of obstacles 9. not dark <fair skin> 10. a. sufficient but not ample ; adequate <a fair understanding of the work> b. moderately numerous, large, or significant <takes a fair amount of time> 11. being such to the utmost ; utter <a fair treat to watch him — New Republic> • fairness noun Synonyms: fair, just, equitable, impartial, unbiased, dispassionate, objective mean free from favor toward either or any side. fair implies an elimination of one's own feelings, prejudices, and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests <a fair decision>. just implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper <a just settlement of territorial claims>. equitable implies a less rigorous standard than just and usually suggests equal treatment of all concerned <the equitable distribution of the property>. impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice <an impartial third party>. unbiased implies even more strongly an absence of all prejudice <your unbiased opinion>. dispassionate suggests freedom from the influence of strong feeling and often implies cool or even cold judgment <a dispassionate summation of the facts>. objective stresses a tendency to view events or persons as apart from oneself and one's own interest or feelings <I can't be objective about my own child>. Synonym: see in addition beautiful. II. noun Date: before 12th century 1. obsolete beauty, fairness 2. something that is fair or fortunate 3. archaic woman; especially sweetheart III. adverb Date: before 12th century 1. in a fair manner <play fair> 2. chiefly British fairly 3 <fair makes you want to cry> IV. verb Date: 1819 intransitive verb of the weather clear transitive verb to join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly V. noun Etymology: Middle English feire, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin feria weekday, fair, from Late Latin, festal day, from Latin feriae (plural) holidays — more at feast Date: 13th century 1. a gathering of buyers and sellers at a particular place and time for trade 2. a. a competitive exhibition usually with accompanying entertainment and amusements <an agricultural fair> b. an exhibition designed to acquaint prospective buyers or the general public with a product <a book fair> c. an exposition that promotes the availability of services or opportunities <health fairs> <job fairs> 3. a sale of assorted articles usually for a charitable purpose
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.