synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of fairly in English

English Online Dictionary. What means fairly‎? What does fairly mean?



From Middle English fayrly, fayrely, vayrliche, equivalent to fair +‎ -ly.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɛə(ɹ).li/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfɛɹ.li/
  • Rhymes: -ɛə(ɹ)li
  • Hyphenation: fair‧ly


fairly (comparative more fairly, superlative most fairly)

  1. (manner) In a fair manner; fair; not biased or skewed or favouring a certain party
    Synonyms: justly, frankly
  2. Favorably; auspiciously; commodiously.
  3. Honestly; properly.
    • 1859, Alexander Easton, A Practical Treatise on Street or Horse-Power Railways, p.108, "Rules adopted by the Sixth Avenue Railway, N. Y.":
      10. You will be civil and attentive to passengers, giving proper assistance to ladies and children getting in or out, and never start the car before passengers are fairly received or landed.
  4. Softly; quietly; gently.
  5. (degree) Partly, not fully; somewhat.
    Synonyms: somewhat, pretty, quite, somewhat
  6. (dated) Almost; practically.
    • 1834, Arthur Courtenay, Autobiography and Letters of Arthur Courtenay (page 36)
      We quadrilled, waltzed, and conversed, in all of which my clever partner excelled; and her charms, combined with the excellent champagne I imbibed, fairly dazzled my imagination.

Usage notes

  • This is a non-descriptive qualifier, similar to quite and rather and somewhat, and some other adverbs of degree. Used where a plain adjective needs to be modified, but cannot be qualified. When spoken, the meaning can vary with the tone of voice and stress. He was fairly big can mean anything from "not exactly small" to "almost huge".


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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.