fair1 / fe(ə)r/ • adj. 1. in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate: fair and equal representation. ∎ just or appropriate in the circumstances: to be fair, this subject poses special problems. ∎ Baseball (of a batted ball) within the field of play marked by the first and third baselines.2. (of hair or complexion) light; blond. ∎ (of a person) having such a complexion or hair.3. considerable though not outstanding in size or amount. ∎ moderately good though not outstandingly so: he believes he has a fair chance of success.4. (of weather) fine and dry.5. archaic beautiful: attractive: the fairest of her daughters.• adv. 1. without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage: no one could say he played fair.2. dial. to a high degree: she'll be fair delighted to see you.PHRASES: fair and square honestly and straightforwardly: we won the match fair and square.a fair deal equitable treatment.fair enough inf. used to admit that something is reasonable or acceptable: “I can't come because I'm working late.” “Fair enough.”fair-to-middling slightly above average: she manages to capitalize on some fair-to-middling material.the fair sex dated or humorous women.in a fair way to do something dated having nearly done something, and likely to achieve it: he is in a fair way to get well.no fair inf. unfair (often used in or as a petulant protestation): no fair—we're the only kids in the whole school who don't get to watch TV on school nights.DERIVATIVES: fair·ish adj.fair·ness n.fair2 • n. a gathering of stalls and amusements for public entertainment. ∎ a competitive exhibition of livestock, agricultural products, and household skills held annually by a town, county, or state and also featuring entertainment and educational displays. ∎ an exhibition to promote particular products: the Contemporary Art Fair.fair3 • v. [tr.] [usu. as adj.] (faired) streamline (a vehicle, boat, or aircraft) by adding fairings.
fair and softly goes far in a day steady undeviating progress is likely to be more successful than proceeding by fits and starts; saying recorded from the mid 14th century.
a fair field and no favour equal conditions in a contest, not unduly favouring or hindering either side.
fair play's a jewel proverbial saying, early 19th century, applauding the value of honest dealing.
a fair-weather friend someone who cannot be relied on for continuing support in a difficult situation, especially when one is attacked or criticized.
see also none but the brave deserve the fair, give and take is fair play, if St Paul's day be fair and clear at St Paul1, turn and turn about is fair play.