Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

fairly

adverb
     
fair‧ly S1 W2
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 note rather
2 in a way that is fair, honest, and reasonable:
I felt I hadn't been treated fairly.
3 British English old-fashioned used to emphasize the degree, force etc of an action:
He fairly raced past us on his bike.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

rather, fairly, quite, pretty
Rather, fairly, quite, and pretty are all used to say that something is true to some degree, but not completely or extremely She's rather shy. You should find the test fairly easy. It took quite a long time (NOT a quite long time). His English is pretty good.Rather is fairly formal but can be used in spoken English, especially British English. In American English it is more usual to use pretty. In both American and British English, pretty is more usual in speech than in writing.Quite can also be used in front of an adjective or adverb, and in British English a verb, to mean 'completely'. This is a fairly formal use You are quite wrong. I quite understand your feelings.See also rather

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary