AskDefine | Define fair

Dictionary Definition

fair adj
1 free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; or conforming with established standards or rules; "a fair referee"; "fair deal"; "on a fair footing"; "a fair fight"; "by fair means or foul" [syn: just] [ant: unfair]
2 showing lack of favoritism; "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" [syn: impartial] [ant: partial]
3 more than adequate in quality; "fair work"
4 not excessive or extreme; "a fairish income"; "reasonable prices" [syn: fairish, reasonable]
5 visually appealing; "our fair city" [syn: sightly]
6 very pleasing to the eye; "my bonny lass"; "there's a bonny bay beyond"; "a comely face"; "young fair maidens" [syn: bonny, bonnie, comely]
7 (of a baseball) hit between the foul lines; "he hit a fair ball over the third base bag" [ant: foul]
8 of no exceptional quality or ability; "a novel of average merit"; "only a fair performance of the sonata"; "in fair health"; "the caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average"; "the performance was middling at best" [syn: average, mediocre, middling]
9 attractively feminine; "the fair sex" [syn: fair(a)]
10 (of a manuscript) having few alterations or corrections; "fair copy"; "a clean manuscript" [syn: clean]
11 free of clouds or rain; "today will be fair and warm"
12 (used of hair or skin) pale or light-colored; "a fair complexion"; [syn: fairish]


1 a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc. [syn: carnival, funfair]
2 gathering of producers to promote business; "world fair"; "trade fair"; "book fair"
3 a competitive exhibition of farm products; "she won a blue ribbon for her baking at the county fair"
4 a sale of miscellany; often for charity; "the church bazaar" [syn: bazaar] adv
1 in conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating; "they played fairly" [syn: fairly, clean] [ant: unfairly]
2 in a fair evenhanded manner; "deal fairly with one another" [syn: fairly, without favoring one party, without favouring one party, evenhandedly] v : join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly

User Contributed Dictionary



fæġer, from Germanic *fagroz. Cognate with Swedish fager.




en-adj er
  1. Beautiful, pleasing to the eye; pretty.
    Monday's child is fair of face.
  2. Light in color, pale, particularly as regards skin tone but also refers to blond hair.
    She had fair hair and blue eyes.
  3. Just, equitable.
    He must be given a fair trial.
  4. Adequate, reasonable, or decent.
    The patient was in a fair condition after some treatment.
  5. Between the baselines.
pretty or attractive
just, equitable
adequate, reasonable, decent
light in color or pale
baseball: between the baselines
  • Finnish: irti


  1. A community gathering to celebrate and exhibit local achievements.
  2. An event for public entertainment and trade, a market.
  3. An event for professionals in a trade to learn of new products and do business.


  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (màihuì)
  • Danish: marked
  • Dutch: beurs
  • Finnish: markkina
  • German: Markt, Messe
  • Italian: mercato
  • Japanese: (いち, ichi)
  • Portuguese: feira
  • Russian: ярмарка
professional event, trade fair
  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (lǎnhuì)
  • Finnish: messu, näyttely
  • German: Ausstellung, Messe
  • Polish: targi
Translations to be checked



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





  • lang=ga|[fˠaɾʲ]


  1. to watch



Extensive Definition

A fair is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. Activities at fairs vary widely. Some are important showcases for businessmen in agricultural, pastoral or horticultural districts because they present opportunities to display and demonstrate the latest machinery on the market.
Fairs are also known by many different names around the world, such as agricultural show, carnival, fete or fête, county or state fair, festival, market and show, etc. Flea markets are sometimes incorporated into a fair.


Fayre is an archaic spelling of fair, used mostly from the 15th to the 17th century. This spelling is now confusingly used for both fair and fare, the latter in the sense of 'food and drink'. In itself, the word means a gathering of stalls and amusements for public entertainment. The alternate spelling is an old fashioned affectation and is used in order to remind revellers and participants of medieval fayres and markets.


The fair is an ancient tradition, and many communities have long had dedicated fairgrounds; others hold them in a variety of public places, including streets and town squares, or even in large private gardens. Fairs are often held in conjunction with a significant event, such as the anniversary of a local historical event, a seasonal event such as harvest time, or with a holiday such as Christmas.
That part of a fair (commonly an American fair such as a county or state fair) where amusement park rides, entertainment and fast food booths are concentrated is called the midway, after the avenue of amusements at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.


In Roman times, fairs were holidays on which there was an intermission of labour and pleadings. In later centuries, on any special Christian religious occasion (particularly the anniversary dedication of a church), tradesmen would bring and sell their wares (even in the churchyards). Such fairs then continued annually, usually on the feast day of the patron saint to whom the church was dedicated. This custom was kept up until the reign of Henry VI, by which time there were a great many fairs kept on these patronal festivals, for example at Westminster on St. Peter's day, at London on St. Bartholomew's (the famous Bartholomew Fair, celebrated in Ben Jonson's play of the same name) and at Durham on St. Cuthbert's day.

Pie-powder courts

See Court of Piepowders
Because of the great numbers of people attracted by fairs they were often the scenes of riots and disturbances, so the privilege of holding a fair was granted by royal charter. At first they were only allowed in towns and places of strength, or where there was some bishop, sheriff or governor who could keep order. In time, various benefits became attached to certain fairs, such as granting people the protection of a holiday, and allowing them freedom from arrests in certain circumstances. The officials were authorised to do justice to those that came to their fair; eventually even the smallest fair would have had a court to adjudicate on offences and disputes arising within the fairground, which was called a pye powder court (from Old French pied pouldre, an itinerant trader, which literally means "dusty feet"), or pedes pulverizati.

Free fairs

Some fairs were free; others charged tolls and impositions. At free fairs, traders, whether natives of the kingdom or foreigners, were allowed to enter the kingdom, and were under royal protection while travelling to and returning from the fair. The traders, their agents, and their goods were exempt from all duties and impositions, tolls and servitudes; merchants going to or coming from the fair could not be arrested, or have their goods stopped.
Such fairs (especially those of the Mediterranean region and some inland regions, particularly Germany), were extremely important in the commerce of Europe. The most famous were those of:
fair in Arabic: خوف
fair in Catalan: Fira
fair in Danish: Handelsmesse
fair in German: Messe (Wirtschaft)
fair in Spanish: Feria
fair in French: Foire
fair in Hebrew: יריד
fair in Italian: Fiera
fair in Dutch: Jaarmarkt
fair in Polish: Jarmark
fair in Portuguese: Feira
fair in Swedish: Marknad (evenemang)
fair in Turkish: Fuar

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Christian, Junoesque, Mardi Gras, OK, Saturnalia, Saturnian, acceptable, accommodating, adequate, admissible, advantageous, affable, affably, agreeable, agreeably, alabaster, alabastrine, albescent, all right, amiable, amiably, amicable, amicably, amply endowed, appropriate, apt, attentive, attractive, auspicious, auto show, average, balanced, balmy, banquet, bazaar, beauteous, beautiful, becoming, beneficial, benevolent, benign, benignant, better than nothing, betwixt and between, blameless, bleached, blissful, blissfully, blond, blooming, blossoming, blowout, boat show, bon, bonny, booming, braw, bright, bright and fair, bueno, built, built for comfort, buxom, callipygian, callipygous, calm, candid, capital, carnival, charming, chaste, cheerful, cheerfully, civil, clarion, clean, cleanly, clear, clement, cloudless, cogent, comely, commendable, commercial complex, common, compatible, complaisant, condign, congenial, considerate, cordial, cordially, courteous, cream, creamy, creditable, curvaceous, curvy, dainty, decent, decipherable, defensible, deferential, delicate, deserved, deservedly, desirable, detached, dirt-free, disinterested, disinterestedly, dispassionate, dispassionately, do, dry, due, dulcet, dull, duly, dun-white, eggshell, elegant, emporium, en rapport, enchanting, enjoyable, enjoyably, equal, equally, equitable, equitably, erect, estimable, ethical, even, evenhanded, evenly, excellent, exhibit, exhibition, expedient, exposition, exquisite, exuberant, fair and pleasant, fair and square, fair to middling, fairish, fairly, famous, fastidious, fat, favorable, favoring, feast, felicific, felicitous, festival, festive occasion, festivity, fete, field day, fiesta, fine, fit, flaxen-haired, flea fair, flea market, flourishing, flowering, foreseeable, fortunate, free, fresh, fruiting, full of integrity, full of promise, gala, gala affair, gala day, genial, genially, glaucescent, glaucous, goddess-like, going strong, golden, good, good enough, good-looking, goodish, goodly, graceful, gracious, graciously, grand, grateful, gratifying, gratifyingly, gray-white, great doings, halcyon, handsome, happy, harmonious, healthy, heart-warming, helpful, high jinks, high-minded, high-principled, highly respectable, honest, honeyed, honorable, hopeful, immaculate, impartial, impartially, impersonal, impersonally, in full swing, in good case, in the cards, in the clear, indifferent, insipid, intermediate, inviolate, irreproachable, ivory, ivory-white, jamboree, just, justifiable, justifiably, justified, justifiedly, justly, kermis, kind, kindly, kosher, lackluster, laudable, law-abiding, law-loving, law-revering, lawful, legal, legible, legitimate, level, liable, light, light-colored, light-hued, likable, likely, lint-white, lovely, lovely to behold, lucky, manly, market, market overt, marketplace, mart, mean, mediocre, medium, meet, meet and right, meetly, mellifluous, mellow, merited, middling, mild, moderate, modest, moral, namby-pamby, neutral, nice, noble, nonpartisan, nonpolluted, not amiss, not bad, not half bad, not so bad, objective, obliging, odds-on, of a kind, of a sort, of cleanly habits, of good omen, of happy portent, of promise, of sorts, off-white, okay, open, open market, open-minded, ordinary, pale, palmy, party, passable, pastel, pearl, pearly, pearly-white, personable, picnic, piping, placid, plaza, pleasant, pleasantly, pleasing, pleasingly, pleasurable, pleasurably, pleasure-giving, pleasureful, pneumatic, polite, predictable within limits, presentable, presumptive, pretty, pretty good, principled, probable, profitable, promising, proper, properly, propitious, prospering, prosperous, pulchritudinous, pure, rainless, rational, readable, reasonable, regal, reputable, respectable, respectful, rewarding, rialto, right, right and proper, right-minded, righteous, rightful, rightfully, rightly, ritually pure, rosy, royal, ruddy, sane, satisfactory, satisfying, satisfyingly, shapely, shiny, shopping center, shopping mall, shopping plaza, show, sightly, skillful, sleek, slender, smut-free, smutless, so so, so-so, solicitous, sound, splendid, sportsmanlike, sportsmanly, spotless, square, stacked, stainless, staple, statistically probable, statuesque, sterling, straight, straightforward, street market, sufficient, sunny, sunshine, sunshiny, sweet, tactful, tahar, tawny, tedious, thoughtful, thriving, tidy, tolerable, trade fair, tranquil, true-dealing, true-devoted, true-disposing, true-souled, true-spirited, truehearted, trustworthy, tubbed, unadulterated, unbesmirched, unbiased, unblemished, unblotted, unclouded, uncoded, uncolored, uncorrupt, uncorrupted, undarkened, undazzled, undefiled, unenciphered, unexceptionable, unimpeachable, uninfluenced, unjaundiced, unmuddied, unobjectionable, unobstructed, unpolluted, unprejudiced, unprepossessed, unsmirched, unsmudged, unsoiled, unspotted, unstained, unsullied, unswayed, untainted, untarnished, upon even terms, upright, uprighteous, upstanding, urbane, useful, valid, vapid, verisimilar, very good, vigorous, virtuous, warrantable, warrantably, warranted, warrantedly, waygoose, wayzgoose, welcome, well-built, well-favored, well-formed, well-made, well-proportioned, well-scrubbed, well-shaped, well-stacked, well-washed, white, whitened, whitish, whity, wishy-washy, without distinction, workmanlike, worthy, yeomanly
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