fair


fair
fair1
fairness, n.
/fair/, adj., fairer, fairest, adv., fairer, fairest, n., v.
adj.
1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.
2. legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.
3. moderately large; ample: a fair income.
4. neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.
5. marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.
6. Meteorol.
a. (of the sky) bright; sunny; cloudless to half-cloudy.
b. (of the weather) fine; with no prospect of rain, snow, or hail; not stormy.
7. Naut. (of a wind or tide) tending to aid the progress of a vessel.
8. unobstructed; not blocked up: The way was fair for our advance.
9. without irregularity or unevenness: a fair surface.
10. free from blemish, imperfection, or anything that impairs the appearance, quality, or character: Her fair reputation was ruined by gossip.
11. easy to read; clear: fair handwriting.
12. of a light hue; not dark: fair skin.
13. pleasing in appearance; attractive: a fair young maiden.
14. seemingly good or sincere but not really so: The suitor beguiled his mistress with fair speeches.
15. courteous; civil: fair words.
16. Med. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs and other favorable indicators, as appetite and mobility, but being in some discomfort and having the possibility of a worsening state.
17. Dial. scarcely; barely: It was just fair daylight when we started working.
18. fair to middling, Informal. only tolerably good; so-so.
adv.
19. in a fair manner: He doesn't play fair.
20. straight; directly, as in aiming or hitting: He threw the ball fair to the goal.
21. favorably; auspiciously.
22. Brit., Australian. entirely; completely; quite: It happened so quickly that it fair took my breath away.
23. bid fair, to seem likely: This entry bids fair to win first prize.
24. fair and square,
a. honestly; justly; straightforwardly: He won the race fair and square.
b. honest; just; straightforward: He was admired for being fair and square in all his dealings.
n.
25. Archaic. something that is fair.
26. Archaic.
a. a woman.
b. a beloved woman.
v.t.
27. to make the connection or junction of (surfaces) smooth and even.
28. Shipbuilding.
a. to draw and adjust (the lines of a hull being designed) to produce regular surfaces of the correct form.
b. to adjust the form of (a frame or templet) in accordance with a design, or cause it to conform to the general form of a hull.
c. to restore (a bent plate or structural member) to its original form.
d. to align (the frames of a vessel under construction) in proper position.
29. to bring (rivet holes in connecting structural members) into perfect alignment.
30. Obs. to make fair.
v.i.
31. fair off or up, South Midland and Southern U.S. (of the weather) to clear: It's supposed to fair off toward evening.
[bef. 900; ME; OE faeger; c. OS, OHG fagar, ON fagr, Goth fagrs]
Syn. 1. FAIR, IMPARTIAL, DISINTERESTED, UNPREJUDICED refer to lack of bias in opinions, judgments, etc. FAIR implies the treating of all sides alike, justly and equitably: a fair compromise. IMPARTIAL, like FAIR, implies showing no more favor to one side than another, but suggests particularly a judicial consideration of a case: an impartial judge. DISINTERESTED implies a fairness arising particularly from lack of desire to obtain a selfish advantage: The motives of her guardian were entirely disinterested.
UNPREJUDICED means not influenced or swayed by bias, or by prejudice caused by irrelevant considerations: an unprejudiced decision. 4. passable, tolerable, average, middling. 8. open, clear, unencumbered. 10. clean, spotless, pure, untarnished, unsullied, unstained. 11. legible, distinct. 12. blond, pale. 13. pretty, comely, lovely. 15. polite, gracious.
fair2
/fair/, n.
1. an exhibition, usually competitive, of farm products, livestock, etc., often combined in the U.S. with entertainment and held annually by a county or state.
2. a periodic gathering of buyers and sellers in an appointed place.
3. an exposition in which different exhibitors participate, sometimes with the purpose of buying or selling: a science fair.
4. an exhibition and sale of articles to raise money, often for some charitable purpose.
[1300-50; ME feire < AF, OF < LL feria religious festival, holiday (ML: market), in L only pl.; akin to FEAST]

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I
Temporary market where buyers and sellers gather to transact business.

Fairs are held at regular intervals, generally at the same location and time of year. An important form of commerce before the Industrial Revolution, fairs solved the problem of distribution and made possible the demonstration of arts and crafts and the sale and barter of goods. They were a fixture of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe, where they were held at major caravan crossroads and near religious festivals. The rules of the fairs eventually became the basis of European business law. Fairs began to die out as cities grew larger and transportation networks became more extensive, though some continued to exist as religious festivals or recreational events. County, agricultural, and livestock fairs are still held in many countries. The trade fair or trade show, often an international event in which exhibitors from one industry display their goods, gained popularity in the 20th century.
II
(as used in expressions)
Charles the Fair
Philip the Fair
trade fair
world's fair

* * *

market
      temporary market where buyers and sellers gather to transact business. A fair is held at regular intervals, generally at the same location and time of year, and it usually lasts for several days or even weeks. Its primary function is the promotion of trade. Historically, fairs displayed many different kinds of products in specific commodity or industrial groupings. The older specialty fair evolved into the more modern trade show. Participation in contemporary trade shows is confined to exhibitors representing one industry or even just specialized segments of an industry.

      Historically, fairs were created to solve the early problems of distribution. They provided an opportunity for the demonstration of skills and crafts, for the exchange of ideas, and for the bartering of goods. They concentrated supply and demand in certain places at certain times. Fairs were a fixture of the Roman Empire (ancient Rome), and the Romans introduced markets and fairs into northern Europe to encourage trade within their conquered provinces. When the Western Roman Empire disintegrated in the late 5th century, virtually all organized commerce in Europe ceased until the late 7th century. Trade revived under Charlemagne, and fairs eventually evolved from some of the local markets, particularly at points of major caravan route intersections and wherever people congregated for religious festivals. The methods of commerce introduced at such fairs became widespread, and the rules of the fair eventually became the basis of European business law.

      The largest of the fairs became quite important. The fair at Saint-Denis near Paris had already risen to prominence in the 7th century, and the Easter fairs at Cologne (Germany) were equally popular in the 11th century. From the mid-12th century on for several hundred years, the fairs of Champagne (France) reigned supreme among the important fairs of Europe. Products from throughout Europe and beyond, including furs from Russia, drugs and spices from East Asia, cloth from Flanders, and linens from southern Germany, were traded there. Important fairs also arose at Lyon (France), Geneva, and Stourbridge (England). Among other fairs of historical interest were those at Kinsai in China, which flourished during Europe's Dark Ages; the great Aztec fair that the Spanish conquistadores found on the present-day site of Mexico City; and the Nizhny Novgorod fair in central Russia. These fairs all succeeded because they were located on major trade or pilgrimage routes.

      In almost every civilization—as commerce became standardized, transportation was organized, and cities grew large enough to require daily markets—fairs have become less important. Sometimes they evolved into religious festivals or sites for recreation and amusement. Others were ruined by excessive taxation of greedy rulers, and still others, particularly in modern times, have simply been suppressed; the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) abolished all of its 17,500 fairs in 1930 as being “unsuited to the Soviet economic and political objective.” The commerce of western Europe during the feudal era was largely based on fairs, but, with the coming of the Industrial Revolution, the vitality of the great fairs was sapped; many perished, and the character of many others changed. One remaining vestige of such fairs is found in the county, agricultural, and livestock fairs that are still popular in the United States and in Europe.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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