fair and square


1 [fair]
adjective, fairer, fairest.
free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
moderately large; ample: a fair income.
neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
(of the sky) bright; sunny; cloudless to half-cloudy.
(of the weather) fine; with no prospect of rain, snow, or hail; not stormy.
Nautical. (of a wind or tide) tending to aid the progress of a vessel.
unobstructed; not blocked up: The way was fair for our advance.
without irregularity or unevenness: a fair surface.
free from blemish, imperfection, or anything that impairs the appearance, quality, or character: Her fair reputation was ruined by gossip.
easy to read; clear: fair handwriting.
of a light hue; not dark: fair skin.
pleasing in appearance; attractive: a fair young maiden.
seemingly good or sincere but not really so: The suitor beguiled his mistress with fair speeches.
courteous; civil: fair words.
Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs and other favorable indicators, as appetite and mobility, but being in some discomfort and having the possibility of a worsening state.
Dialect. scarcely; barely: It was just fair daylight when we started working.
adverb, fairer, fairest.
in a fair manner: He doesn't play fair.
straight; directly, as in aiming or hitting: He threw the ball fair to the goal.
favorably; auspiciously.
British, Australian. entirely; completely; quite: It happened so quickly that it fair took my breath away.
Archaic. something that is fair.
a woman.
a beloved woman.
verb (used with object)
to make the connection or junction of (surfaces) smooth and even.
to draw and adjust (the lines of a hull being designed) to produce regular surfaces of the correct form.
to adjust the form of (a frame or templet) in accordance with a design, or cause it to conform to the general form of a hull.
to restore (a bent plate or structural member) to its original form.
to align (the frames of a vessel under construction) in proper position.
to bring (rivet holes in connecting structural members) into perfect alignment.
Obsolete. to make fair.
Verb phrases
fair off/up, South Midland and Southern U.S. (of the weather) to clear: It's supposed to fair off toward evening.
bid fair, to seem likely: This entry bids fair to win first prize.
fair and square,
honestly; justly; straightforwardly: He won the race fair and square.
honest; just; straightforward: He was admired for being fair and square in all his dealings.
fair to middling, Informal. only tolerably good; so-so.

before 900; Middle English; Old English fæger; cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German fagar, Old Norse fagr, Gothic fagrs

fairness, noun

1. Fair, impartial, disinterested, unprejudiced refer to lack of bias in opinions, judgments, etc. Fair implies the treating of all sides alike, justly and equitably: a fair compromise. Impartial like fair implies showing no more favor to one side than another, but suggests particularly a judicial consideration of a case: an impartial judge. Disinterested implies a fairness arising particularly from lack of desire to obtain a selfish advantage: The motives of her guardian were entirely disinterested. Unprejudiced means not influenced or swayed by bias, or by prejudice caused by irrelevant considerations: an unprejudiced decision. 4. passable, tolerable, average, middling. 8. open, clear, unencumbered. 10. clean, spotless, pure, untarnished, unsullied, unstained. 11. legible, distinct. 12. blond, pale. 13. pretty, comely, lovely. 15. polite, gracious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fair1 (fɛə)
1.  free from discrimination, dishonesty, etc; just; impartial
2.  in conformity with rules or standards; legitimate: a fair fight
3.  (of the hair or complexion) light in colour
4.  beautiful or lovely to look at
5.  moderately or quite good: a fair piece of work
6.  unblemished; untainted
7.  (of the tide or wind) favourable to the passage of a vessel
8.  sunny, fine, or cloudless
9.  informal (prenominal) thorough; real: a fair battle to get to the counter
10.  pleasant or courteous
11.  apparently good or valuable, but really false: fair words
12.  open or unobstructed: a fair passage
13.  (Austral) (of handwriting) clear and legible
14.  informal a fair crack of the whip, a fair shake of the dice, a fair go a fair opportunity; fair chance
15.  fair and square in a correct or just way
16.  fair do's
 a.  equal shares or treatment
 b.  an expression of appeal for equal shares or treatment
17.  fair enough! an expression of agreement
18.  informal (Austral), (NZ) fair go! come off it!; I don't believe it!
19.  fair to middling about average
20.  in a fair way; correctly: act fair, now!
21.  absolutely or squarely; quite: the question caught him fair off his guard
22.  dialect really or very: fair tired
23.  dialect (intr) (of the weather) to become fine and mild
24.  archaic a person or thing that is beautiful or valuable, esp a woman
[Old English fæger; related to Old Norse fagr, Old Saxon, Old High German fagar, Gothic fagrs suitable]

fair2 (fɛə)
1.  a travelling entertainment with sideshows, rides, etc, esp one that visits places at the same time each year
2.  a gathering of producers of and dealers in a given class of products to facilitate business: a book fair
3.  an event including amusements and the sale of goods, esp for a charity; bazaar
4.  a regular assembly at a specific place for the sale of goods, esp livestock
[C13: from Old French feire, from Late Latin fēria holiday, from Latin fēriae days of rest: related to festus festal]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. fæger "beautiful, pleasant," from P.Gmc. *fagraz (cf. O.N. fagr, O.H.G. fagar "beautiful," Goth. fagrs "fit"), from PIE *fag-. The meaning in reference to weather (c.1200) preserves the original sense (opposed to foul). Sense of "light complexioned" (1550s) reflects
tastes in beauty; sense of "free from bias" (mid-14c.) evolved from another early meaning, "morally pure, unblemished" (late 12c.). The sporting senses (fair ball, fair catch etc.) began in 1856. Fair play is from 1590s; fair and square is from c.1600. Fair-haired in the figurative sense of "darling, favorite" is from 1909. First record of fair-weather friends is from 1736.

early 14c., from Anglo-Fr. feyre (late 13c.), from O.Fr. feire, from V.L. *feria "holiday, market fair," from L. feriæ "religious festival, holiday" (see feast).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

fair and square

Just and honest, as in He won the race fair and square. This redundant expressionfair and square mean essentially the same thingprobably owes its long life to its rhyme. [Early 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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