fair and square

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fair 1

adj. fair·er, fair·est
1. Of pleasing appearance, especially because of a pure or fresh quality; comely.
a. Light in color, especially blond: fair hair.
b. Of light complexion: fair skin.
3. Free of clouds or storms; clear and sunny: fair skies.
4. Free of blemishes or stains; clean and pure: one's fair name.
5. Promising; likely: We're in a fair way to succeed.
a. Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial: a fair mediator.
b. Just to all parties; equitable: a compromise that is fair to both factions.
7. Being in accordance with relative merit or significance: She wanted to receive her fair share of the proceeds.
8. Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics: a fair tactic.
9. Moderately good; acceptable or satisfactory: gave only a fair performance of the play; in fair health.
10. Superficially true or appealing; specious: Don't trust his fair promises.
11. Lawful to hunt or attack: fair game.
12. Archaic Free of all obstacles.
1. In a proper or legal manner: playing fair.
2. Directly; straight: a blow caught fair in the stomach.
tr.v. faired, fair·ing, fairs
To join (pieces) so as to be smooth, even, or regular: faired the aircraft's wing into the fuselage.
1. Archaic A beautiful or beloved woman.
2. Obsolete Loveliness; beauty.
Phrasal Verb:
fair off (or up)
Chiefly Southern US To become clear. Used of weather.
fair and square
Just and honest.
for fair
To the greatest or fullest extent possible: Our team was beaten for fair in that tournament.
no fair
Something contrary to the rules: That was no fair.

[Middle English, from Old English fæger, lovely, pleasant.]

fair′ness n.
Synonyms: fair1, just1, equitable, impartial, unprejudiced, unbiased, objective
These adjectives mean free from favoritism, self-interest, or preference in judgment. Fair is the most general: a fair referee; a fair deal. Just stresses conformity with what is legally or ethically right or proper: "a just and lasting peace" (Abraham Lincoln).
Equitable implies justice dictated by reason, conscience, and a natural sense of what is fair: an equitable distribution of gifts among the children. Impartial emphasizes lack of favoritism: "the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" (Edmund Burke).
Unprejudiced means without preconceived opinions or judgments: an unprejudiced evaluation of the proposal. Unbiased implies absence of a preference or partiality: gave an unbiased account of her family problems. Objective implies detachment that permits impersonal observation and judgment: an objective jury. See Also Synonyms at average, beautiful.
Our Living Language American folk speech puts Standard English to shame in its wealth of words for describing weather conditions. When the weather goes from fair to cloudy, New Englanders say that it's "breedin' up a storm" (Maine informant in the Linguistic Atlas of New England). If the weather is clear, however, a New Englander might call it open. Southern fair off and fair up, meaning "to become clear," were originally Northeastern terms and were brought to the South as settlement expanded southward and westward. They are now "regionalized to the South," according to Craig M. Carver, author of American Regional Dialects. These phrases may have prompted the coining of milding and milding down, noted respectively in Texas and Virginia by the Dictionary of American Regional English.

fair 2

1. A gathering held at a specified time and place for the buying and selling of goods; a market.
2. An exhibition, as of farm products or manufactured goods, usually accompanied by various competitions and entertainments: a state fair.
3. An exhibition intended to inform people about a product or business opportunity: a computer fair; a job fair.
4. An event, usually for the benefit of a charity or public institution, including entertainment and the sale of goods; a bazaar: a church fair.

[Middle English faire, from Old French feire, from Late Latin fēria, sing. of Latin fēriae, holidays; see dhēs- in Indo-European roots.]


(skweə) noun
1. a four-sided two-dimensional figure with all sides equal in length and all angles right angles.
2. something in the shape of this.
3. an open place in a town, with the buildings round it.
4. the resulting number when a number is multiplied by itself. 3  3, or 32 = 9, so 9 is the square of 3.
1. having the shape of a square or right angle. I need a square piece of paper; He has a short, square body / a square chin.
2. (of business dealings, scores in games etc) level, even, fairly balanced etc. If I pay you an extra $5 shall we be (all) square?; Their scores are (all) square (= equal).
3. measuring a particular amount on all four sides. This piece of wood is two metres square.
4. old-fashioned. square ideas about clothes.
1. at right angles, or in a square shape. The carpet is not cut square with the corner.
2. firmly and directly. She hit him square on the point of the chin.
1. to give a square shape to or make square.
2. to settle, pay etc (an account, debt etc). I must square my account with you.
3. to (cause to) fit or agree. His story doesn't square with the facts.
4. to multiply a number by itself. Two squared is four.
squared adjective
1. marked or ruled with squares. squared paper.
2. having been squared.
ˈsquarely adverb
directly and firmly. He stood squarely in front of me; She looked squarely at me.
square centimetre/metre etc (often abbreviated to cm2, *m2etc when written)
an area equal to a square in which each side is one centimetre, metre etc. If the door is 3 metres high and 1.5 metres wide, its area is 4.5 square metres.
square root
the number which, multiplied by itself, gives the number that is being considered. The square root of 16 is 4 ( 16 = 4).
fair and square
directly. He hit him fair and square on the nose.
go back to square one
to start all over again.
a square deal
a fair bargain; fair treatment.
References in classic literature ?
Don't send no note, but just go up there and hev it out fair and square, and say what you do mean.
Of course I said fair and square at once what I had done, and why; then I showed the master the flies, some crushed and some crawling about helpless, and I showed him the wings on the window sill.
They talked it over, and they was going to rule me out, because they said every boy must have a family or somebody to kill, or else it wouldn't be fair and square for the others.
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