Definition of play fair in English:

play fair


  • Observe principles of justice; avoid cheating.

    • ‘To continue the footballing analogy, it is like asking footballers to sign a formal declaration before each game that they will not cheat and will always play fair.’
    • ‘An African sugar farmer has visited Manchester to try to persuade traders and politicians to play fair when buying his produce.’
    • ‘We believe our customers want the security of a bank which is here for the long term, which plays fair and has no nasty surprises up its sleeve.’
    • ‘If they broke rules, why should we now be expected to play fair?’
    • ‘That's a big boast, but the bill does not contain that much by way of safeguards for punters, and there is nothing at all to say that bookmakers must play fair by clients, even those who win.’
    • ‘It was maddening to see skiers I knew to be playing fair, guys who trained their hearts out with little financial reward, lose to the cheaters.’
    • ‘IOC president Jacques Rogge encouraged athletes to play fair.’
    • ‘But over the past fortnight, Hunter and Gorman have been reduced to defending their integrity and business dealings against accusations that they failed to play fair.’
    • ‘There is in fact no yardstick by which one country can be judged to be playing fair in its trade relations with others.’
    • ‘To Sam this wasn't playing fair, but they soon found out that despite clauses in the contract of sale that forbade such enterprises there was pragmatically not much they could do.’
    play fair, be fair, play by the rules, abide by the rules, follow the rules, conform, be a good sport, toe the line, keep in step
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