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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. equitably, objectively, legitimately, honestly, justly, lawfully, without prejudice, dispassionately, impartially, even-handedly, without bias They solved their problems quickly and fairly.
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.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. In a fair, sporting manner:
3. To some extent:
Idiom: more or less.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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)
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= 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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[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
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


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
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Two Thieves having stolen a Piano and being unable to divide it fairly without a remainder went to law about it and continued the contest as long as either one could steal a dollar to bribe the judge.
"You wallow fairly well," said the Pig, "but, my fine fellow, you have much to learn about rooting."
Across the threshold lay stretched the sleepless guardian brute, just as I had last seen him on the preceding day; apparently he had not moved a muscle; his eyes were fairly glued upon me, and I fell to wondering just what might befall me should I endeavor to escape.
As we deep- water men always reckoned, he made one year in three fairly lively for anybody having business upon the Atlantic or down there along the "forties" of the Southern Ocean.
"Then," quoth Robin, "as thou dost so fairly do as I tell thee, and dost give me such soft speech, I will also treat thee with all due courtesy.
Then we may fairly assume that they are two, and that they differ from one another; the one with which man reasons, we may call the rational principle of the soul, the other, with which he loves and hungers and thirsts and feels the flutterings of any other desire, may be termed the irrational or appetitive, the ally of sundry pleasures and satisfactions?
The German gentleman is also more interesting, the more you know him; it seems sometimes as if I could fairly drink in his ideas.
Sometimes I am fairly astounded by their daring and genius.
In the preface to "Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz" I said I would like to write some stories that were not "Oz" stories, because I thought I had written about Oz long enough; but since that volume was published I have been fairly deluged with letters from children imploring me to "write more about Dorothy," and "more about Oz," and since I write only to please the children I shall try to respect their wishes.
This particular performance fairly amazes the people.
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.