Definition of fairly in English:



  • 1With justice.

    ‘he could not fairly be accused of wasting police time’
    • ‘Their governing principles require that banks act fairly and reasonably in dealings with customers.’
    • ‘Would you trust this man to behave fairly, honestly, and ethically in his portfolio?’
    • ‘He quite fairly observed that he hadn't really played backgammon before.’
    • ‘He won that position fairly, kept it honourably, and contributed to the British and to the world theatre.’
    • ‘Ensuring this money is used fairly to the benefit of all the world's people is therefore a matter of increasing urgency.’
    • ‘I think it's fair to say that we have made fairly substantial progress.’
    • ‘The first data protection principle is that information must be used fairly and lawfully.’
    • ‘The tribunal is trying to boost its legitimacy by acting fairly.’
    • ‘If they are found to have acted fairly, then everybody knows as well.’
    • ‘We must treat everyone fairly, be open and honest and prepared to justify our decisions when challenged.’
    • ‘If these occur, they are dealt with swiftly and fairly, to restore security to all in the facility.’
    • ‘Yet we somehow find a way to compete fairly and still get along for the betterment of the team.’
    • ‘Trade doesn't have to exploit the poor; done fairly, it can actually end poverty.’
    • ‘The dramatist chooses those motives as fairly and as honestly as he can.’
    justly, equitably, impartially, without bias, without prejudice, without fear or favour, with an open mind, open-mindedly, even-handedly, objectively, neutrally, disinterestedly
    View synonyms
  • 2usually as submodifier To a moderately high degree.

    ‘I was fairly certain she had nothing to do with the affair’
    • ‘There was nothing to this and by the time I'd gone a block, I was fairly speeding along.’
    • ‘The trouble is, when I get in a mood like that, I can be quite destructive and fairly unpleasant to be around.’
    • ‘I am fairly difficult to get along with apparently and we haven't talked in a number of years.’
    • ‘It fell to her mid thigh, making it a fairly long skirt in comparison to most she owned.’
    • ‘Most of our fine police officers have a fairly large degree of discretion to use.’
    • ‘The young woman paced along fairly quickly, her handbag swinging back and forth and her nose held high in the air.’
    • ‘It's still fairly big and quite bulky but we're gradually getting there.’
    • ‘They have a good reputation locally, and the chap says that they get asked to do this sort of thing fairly frequently.’
    • ‘One of the problems I find when listening to commercial radio is the constant repetition of fairly long adverts.’
    • ‘It was a pretty animal, fairly large and muscular for a cat with a silky, dark blue-black coat and violet eyes.’
    • ‘I've been through a phase of having a fair amount of capital and I was fairly miserable to be honest.’
    • ‘I've done some fairly harsh probing on this subject and, to be honest, it turns out to be a really good deal.’
    • ‘The demo came out really well; recorded fairly quickly, pretty much live and without too much fuss.’
    • ‘It was cooked up with egg, bits of barbecue pork and shrimp, for a fairly satisfying result.’
    • ‘Saturday I was on call and spent a fairly long time sorting the ward out at the hospital.’
    • ‘If there was a slip it was simply a slip, but the reasons are fairly obvious.’
    reasonably, passably, tolerably, satisfactorily, sufficiently, adequately, moderately, quite, rather, somewhat, relatively, comparatively
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Actually (used to emphasize something surprising or extreme)
      ‘he fairly snarled at her’
      • ‘After what happened last time, I was fairly surprised that he stopped at all.’
      • ‘We're fairly surprised that Whitney and Bobby are now officially the tackiest couple of the year.’
      • ‘After all, not wearing any clothes at all is fairly hazardous, especially if the sun is making you a little delirious.’
      • ‘But it ought to come with a word of warning for drivers: it is fairly alcoholic.’
      • ‘We were all fairly surprised to find ourselves barely able to walk straight when we finally did get up.’
      • ‘Iranians come from a fairly different culture in regard to the interaction between women and men.’
      • ‘Between these two extremes the mountains are fairly barren with only little pockets of fertile soil.’
      • ‘But fairly few people have studied the media even in the moderate depth that I have done.’
      • ‘I have any number of fairly prurient interests, among them, a penchant for gossip columns.’
      • ‘In the history of empire and colonialism, the voices raised in dissent are fairly few actually.’
      • ‘You would be fairly surprised at some of the people who smoke cannabis.’
      • ‘I'm fairly surprised at the technician who presents herself to my office.’
      • ‘Uh Huh Her was written and recorded entirely in her Dorset home, and is a fairly extreme reaction to her previous work.’
      • ‘You could imagine that Lynn was fairly surprised when she saw who she had been sat next to.’
      • ‘Regi Claire hasn't set out to write an erotic novel, though The Beauty Room fairly hums with sexual tension.’
      • ‘So in each case, it tends to be fairly extreme behaviour that's likely to give rise to liability.’
      • ‘True insomnia, the inability to get to sleep or maintain sleep is actually fairly rare.’
      • ‘So I think it was a fairly brave an courageous artwork to commemorate a brave and courageous event.’
      • ‘Many are nursing painful losses and are likely to give a fairly rude response when asked to support the next foreign Aim float.’
      • ‘Companies have ingrained practices and fairly frozen allocations of marketing funds.’
      positively, really, veritably, simply, actually, absolutely, decidedly
      View synonyms


  • fairly and squarely

    • Honestly and straightforwardly.

      ‘he laid the blame fairly and squarely at the minister's door’