Definition of unfair in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌənˈfer/


1Not based on or behaving according to the principles of equality and justice: at times like these the legal system appears inhumane and unfair
More example sentences
  • The judge added it was premature and unfair to reach conclusions based on the State's summary of its case.
  • As a matter of personal philosophy, he thinks that judging a site based on links is unfair.
  • It's going to seem a bit unfair banning Americans for behaving like Americans if everyone else is doing so.
unjust, inequitable, prejudiced, biased, discriminatory;
one-sided, unequal, uneven, unbalanced, partisan, partial, skewed
undeserved, unmerited, uncalled for, unreasonable, unjustified
1.1Unkind, inconsiderate, or unreasonable: you’re unfair to criticize like that when she’s never done you any harm
More example sentences
  • In November she complained about the very rigid, harsh, unfair and unreasonable marking of some of the papers.
  • There was a time when we had employers who were unfair and unreasonable, but I think time has moved on.
  • The resulting decisions are inevitably sometimes unfair and inconsistent.
inconsiderate, thoughtless, insensitive, selfish, spiteful, mean, unkind, unreasonable;
hypercritical, overcritical
1.2Not following the rules of a game or sport.
Example sentences
  • The axiom is that golf was never meant to be a fair game, so then the natural response is when does it become an unfair game?
  • Thus the chances of his winning the game is sabotaged by unfair meddling.
  • They began to shout of the rules and of unfair play, and Abigail sighed with relief.
unsportsmanlike, unsporting, dirty, below the belt, underhanded, dishonorable


Old English unfæger 'not beautiful' (see un-1, fair1).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: un·fair

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