Definition for FAIR

FAIR, n. [Fr. foire; W. fair; Arm. foar, foer, feur, or for; L. forum, or feriæ. The It. fiera, and Sp. feria, a fair, are the L. feriæ, a holiday, a day exempt from labor; G. feier, whence feiern, to rest from labor. If fair is from forum, it may coincide in origin with Gr. πορευω, εμπορευομαι, to trade, whence εμποριον, emporium, the primary sense of which is to pass. In Norman French we find fair and feire. If fair is from feriæ, it is so called from being held in places where the wakes or feasts at the dedication of churches were held, or from the feasts themselves. It is a fact that Sundays were formerly market days.]

A stated market in a particular town or city; a stated meeting of buyers and sellers for trade. A fair is annual or more frequent. The privilege of holding fairs is granted by the king or supreme power. Among the most celebrated fairs in Europe are those of Francfort and Leipsic in Germany; of Novi in the Milanese; of Riga and Archangel in Russia; of Lyons and St. Germain in France. In Great Britain many towns enjoy this privilege. Encyc. In the United States, there are no fairs similar to those in England; at least I know of none. The ladies sometimes hold fairs for the sale of their work for charitable purposes.

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