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a. In a fair or just manner; equitably.
b. Legitimately; suitably.
2. Clearly; distinctly.
3. Actually; fully: The walls fairly shook with their bellowing.
a. Moderately; rather: a fairly good dinner.
b. To a reasonable degree: I was fairly sure that I would go to the party.
5. Obsolete
a. Gently.
b. Courteously.


1. (not used with a negative) moderately
2. as deserved; justly
3. (not used with a negative) positively; absolutely: the hall fairly rang with applause.
4. archaic clearly
5. obsolete courteously


(ˈfɛər li)

1. in a fair manner; justly; impartially.
2. moderately; tolerably: a fairly heavy rain.
3. properly; legitimately: a claim fairly made.
4. clearly; distinctly: fairly seen.
5. so to speak; seemingly: ears fairly steaming with rage.
6. Obs. softly; gently.
7. Obs. courteously.


1. 'fair'

You say that behaviour or a decision is fair when it is reasonable, right, or just.

It wouldn't be fair to disturb the children's education at this stage.
Do you feel they're paying their fair share?
2. 'fairly'

Don't use 'fair' as an adverb, except in the expression play fair. If you want to say that something is done in a reasonable or just way, the word you use is fairly.

We want it to be fairly distributed.
He had not explained things fairly.

Fairly also has a completely different meaning. It means 'to quite a large degree'.

The information was fairly accurate.
I wrote the first part fairly quickly.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'fairly' in front of a comparative form. Don't say, for example, 'The train is fairly quicker than the bus'. In conversation and less formal writing, you say 'The train is a bit quicker than the bus'.

Golf's a bit more expensive.
I began to understand her a bit better.

Be Careful!
In more formal writing, you use rather or somewhat.

In short, the problems now look rather worse than they did a year ago.
The results were somewhat lower than expected.

Many other words and expressions can be used to show degree.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.fairly - to a moderately sufficient extent or degree; "pretty big"; "pretty bad"; "jolly decent of him"; "the shoes are priced reasonably"; "he is fairly clever with computers"
2.fairly - without favoring one party, in a fair evenhanded manner; "deal fairly with one another"
3.fairly - in conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating; "they played fairly"
below the belt, unfairly - in an unfair manner; "they dealt with him unfairly"; "their accusations hit below the belt"


3. positively, really, simply, absolutely, in a manner of speaking, veritably He fairly flew across the room.
4. deservedly, objectively, honestly, justifiably, justly, impartially, equitably, without fear or favour, properly It can no doubt be fairly argued that he is entitled to every penny.


1. In a fair, sporting manner:
3. To some extent:
Idiom: more or less.
إلى حَد ما، بَعض الشَّيءبإِنْصَافبِعَدالَه
heiîarlegasæmilega, nokkuî


[ˈfɛəlɪ] ADV
1. (= justly) → justamente, con justicia; (= impartially) → con imparcialidad; (= equally) → equitativamente
our workers are treated fairlytratamos justamente or con justicia a nuestros trabajadores
he always enforced rules fairlysiempre aplicó las reglas con imparcialidad
the blame must be placed fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the governmenttodo el peso de la culpa debe recaer de lleno sobre el gobierno
2. (= according to the rules) [play] → limpiamente, limpio
3. (= quite) → bastante
I'm fairly sureestoy bastante or casi segura
fairly goodbastante bueno
4. (as intensifier) → verdaderamente
the literature fairly bulges with illustrations of thisel material publicado está verdaderamente repleto de ilustraciones de esto
he fairly ran out of the roompoco menos que salió corriendo del cuarto


[ˈfɛərli] adv
(in a just manner) [divide, share, treat] → équitablement
The cake was divided fairly → Le gâteau a été partagé équitablement.
(= quite) [good, easy, common, obvious] → assez; [well, badly, easily] → assez
That's fairly good → C'est assez bien.
I'm fairly sure (that) ... → j'en suis quasiment sûr que ..., j'en suis presque sûr que ...fair-minded [ˌfɛərˈmaɪndɪd] adj [person] → impartial(e)


(= moderately)ziemlich; fairly recentlyerst kürzlich
(= justly) treatgerecht, fair; (= justifiably) claimzu Recht; describe, blamegerechterweise; (= equally) sharegerecht
(= positively, really)geradezu; we fairly flew alongwir sausten nur so dahin


[ˈfɛəlɪ] adv
a. (justly) → in modo imparziale or equo, equamente; (according to the rules) → lealmente, correttamente
b. (quite) → abbastanza, piuttosto
I'm fairly sure → sono abbastanza sicuro
fairly good → discreto/a
c. (fam) (utterly) → completamente
she was fairly raging → era completamente fuori di sé


(feə) adjective
1. light-coloured; with light-coloured hair and skin. fair hair; Scandinavian people are often fair.
2. just; not favouring one side. a fair test.
3. (of weather) fine; without rain. a fair afternoon.
4. quite good; neither bad nor good. Her work is only fair.
5. quite big, long etc. a fair size.
6. beautiful. a fair maiden.
ˈfairness noun
ˈfairly adverb
1. justly; honestly. fairly judged.
2. quite or rather. The work was fairly hard.
fair play
honest treatment; an absence of cheating, biased actions etc. He's not involved in the contest – he's only here to see fair play.


بإِنْصَاف docela ret ziemlich αρκετά bastante, con imparcialidad melko assez prilično abbastanza 公正に 상당히 behoorlijk rettferdig dość razoavelmente в достаточной степени ganska พอควร oldukça khá 相当
References in classic literature ?
Next day, having seen both the old and young gentleman out of the house, Beth, after two or three retreats, fairly got in at the side door, and made her way as noiselessly as any mouse to the drawing room where her idol stood.
I have fairly good directions as to how it may be reached.
We were talking about what it is like to spend one's childhood in little towns like these, buried in wheat and corn, under stimulating extremes of climate: burning summers when the world lies green and billowy beneath a brilliant sky, when one is fairly stifled in vegetation, in the color and smell of strong weeds and heavy harvests; blustery winters with little snow, when the whole country is stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron.
An honest Delaware now, being fairly vanquished, would have lain still, and been knocked on the head, but these knavish Maquas cling to life like so many cats-o'-the-mountain.
Maryland Joe, his brother, told better stories (sometimes of Dick), though not so good a mimic as the other Kearney, who had a fairly sympathetic voice in singing.
It might fairly be anticipated that the progress of time would rather increase and ripen their prosperity, than wear away and destroy it.
His son, too, inherited the persecuting spirit, and made himself so conspicuous in the martyrdom of the witches, that their blood may fairly be said to have left a stain upon him.
Grose, just as it is scarcely less so to attempt to suggest here, how, in our short, stiff brush in the dark, he fairly shook me with admiration.
I shall ere long paint to you as well as one can without canvas, something like the true form of the whale as he actually appears to the eye of the whaleman when in his own absolute body the whale is moored alongside the whale-ship so that he can be fairly stepped upon there.
They had done this so often in the canning establishments that the girls were fairly desperate; their wages had gone down by a full third in the past two years, and a storm of discontent was brewing that was likely to break any day.
This particular performance fairly amazes the people.
He owned, when driven into a corner, that he seemed to have been wrong about the crew, that some of them were as brisk as he wanted to see and all had behaved fairly well.