- fair, fairly adverbs.Fair is used in its ordinary meaning ‘in a fair manner’ in several fixed expressions, e.g. to bid fair, to play fair, fair between the eyes. In dialect use and in some non-British varieties it is used to mean ‘completely, fully, really’, as in It fair gets me down. It should be remembered that fairly has several meanings: (1) in a fair manner (He treated me fairly); (2) moderately, to a noticeable degree (The path is fairly narrow / a fairly good translation); (3) utterly, completely (He was fairly beside himself). In some contexts it is difficult to know (as with quite) whether the meaning is 2 or 3, although in speech intonation can clarify which is meant.
Modern English usage. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Fairly — Fair ly, adv. 1. In a fair manner; clearly; openly; plainly; fully; distinctly; frankly. [1913 Webster] Even the nature of Mr. Dimmesdale s disease had never fairly been revealed to him. Hawthorne. [1913 Webster] 2. Favorably; auspiciously;… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
fairly — [fer′lē] adv. [ME: see FAIR1 & LY2] 1. justly; equitably 2. moderately; somewhat [fairly hot] 3. clearly; distinctly 4. virtually; in effect … English World dictionary
fairly — I (clearly) adverb absolutely, aperte, certainly, dare, completely, conspicuously, decidedly, decisively, definitely, discernibly, distincte, distinctively, distinctly, distinguishably, doubtlessly, evidently, explicitly, fully, indubitably,… … Law dictionary
fairly — [adv1] somewhat adequately, averagely, enough, kind of, moderately, more or less, passably, pretty well, quite, rather, ratherish, reasonably, some, something, sort of, so so*, tolerably; concept 786 fairly [adv2] justly deservedly, equitably,… … New thesaurus
fairly — (adv.) c.1400, handsomely, from FAIR (Cf. fair) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). Meaning impartially is from 1670s; somewhat is from 1805; meaning totally is earlier (1590s) … Etymology dictionary
fairly — ► ADVERB 1) with justice. 2) moderately. 3) actually; positively … English terms dictionary
fairly — [[t]fe͟ə(r)li[/t]] ♦♦♦ 1) ADV: ADV adj/adv Fairly means to quite a large degree. For example, if you say that something is fairly old, you mean that it is old but not very old. Both ships are fairly new (five years old and one year old… … English dictionary
fairly — adverb Date: 12th century 1. in a handsome manner < a table fairly set > 2. obsolete a. in a gentle manner ; quietly b. in a courteous manner 3. so to speak ; nearly, practically … New Collegiate Dictionary
fairly — /fair lee/, adv. 1. in a fair manner; justly or honestly; impartially. 2. moderately; tolerably: a fairly heavy rain. 3. properly; legitimately: a claim fairly made. 4. clearly; distinctly: fairly seen. 5. Chiefly Southern U.S. a. actually;… … Universalium
fairly — fair|ly W2S1 [ˈfeəli US ˈferli] adv 1.) [+ adjective/adverb] more than a little, but much less than very →↑quite ▪ The house had a fairly large garden. ▪ She speaks English fairly well. ▪ The instructions seem fairly straightforward. see usage… … Dictionary of contemporary English