Ask Difference

Exhibition vs. Fair — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on September 21, 2023
An exhibition is a formal display or presentation of items, often in a museum or gallery, focused on a particular subject. A fair is a larger event often featuring multiple vendors, games, and attractions.
Exhibition vs. Fair — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Exhibition and Fair

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Key Differences

An exhibition is a curated display or showcase, usually designed to present a particular type of content such as art, historical artifacts, or scientific achievements. These are often held in museums, galleries, or exhibition halls and are usually thematic, revolving around a single subject or concept. On the other hand, a fair is a broader gathering that can include various vendors, food stalls, games, and sometimes even rides. It can serve multiple purposes like commerce, education, and entertainment and may not focus on a single theme.
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Sep 21, 2023
In an exhibition, the emphasis is often on education and enlightenment, targeting an audience interested in the subject matter. It often involves careful planning and curation by experts in the field. In contrast, a fair tends to be more eclectic, aiming to draw a wide range of attendees. It may or may not have an educational component, and is often more focused on recreation or commercial transactions.
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Sep 21, 2023
One can expect an exhibition to be more formal in setting and tone. It may even have guided tours, lectures, or interactive sessions. A fair, however, is generally more relaxed and casual, offering a variety of activities suitable for all ages, from children to adults. Moreover, while exhibitions usually charge an entry fee or require a ticket, fairs might be free or charge a nominal fee for certain activities or zones.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 21, 2023
To summarize, an exhibition is more formal, subject-specific, and educationally oriented, typically taking place in institutional settings like museums. A fair is a larger, more general event that may incorporate elements of trade, entertainment, and community engagement, often occurring in open spaces or large halls.
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Comparison Chart

Purpose

Educational, informative
Commercial, recreational
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Setting

Museum, gallery
Open space, large hall
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Audience

Specific interest group
General public
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Tone

Formal
Casual
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Fees

Usually ticketed
May be free or nominal
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Compare with Definitions

Exhibition

A public presentation of artistic works.
I visited an exhibition of modern sculptures downtown.
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Fair

A trade show or exhibition of products.
The job fair offered many employment opportunities.
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Exhibition

A visual narrative on a theme.
The photography exhibition told a compelling story of migration.
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Fair

An event for recreation and entertainment.
The Renaissance fair was like stepping back in time.
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Exhibition

A curated showcase of a particular subject.
The exhibition on climate change was very enlightening.
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Fair

An organized event to raise funds or awareness.
The school fair was a charity event.
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Exhibition

A formal display of items, usually in a museum.
The art exhibition showcased works from the Renaissance period.
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Fair

A fair (archaic: faire or fayre) is a gathering of people for a variety of entertainment or commercial activities. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary with scheduled times lasting from an afternoon to several weeks.
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Exhibition

An organized event displaying specific industrial or commercial products.
The tech exhibition featured the latest innovations.
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Fair

Treating people equally without favouritism or discrimination
The group has achieved fair and equal representation for all its members
A fairer distribution of wealth
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Exhibition

An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within a cultural or educational setting such as a museum, art gallery, park, library, exhibition hall, or World's fairs.
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Fair

(of hair or complexion) light; blonde
A pretty girl with long fair hair
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Exhibition

The act or an instance of exhibiting.
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Fair

Considerable though not outstanding in size or amount
He did a fair bit of coaching
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Exhibition

Something exhibited; an exhibit.
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Fair

(of weather) fine and dry
A fair autumn day
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Exhibition

A large-scale public showing, as of art objects or industrial or agricultural products.
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Fair

Beautiful
The fairest of her daughters
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Exhibition

Chiefly British A grant given to a scholar by a school or university.
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Fair

Without cheating or trying to achieve unjust advantage
No one could say he played fair
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Exhibition

An instance of exhibiting, or something exhibited.
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Fair

To a high degree
She'll be fair delighted to see you
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Exhibition

A large-scale public showing of objects or products.
There was an art exhibition on in the town hall.
A boat exhibition
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Fair

A beautiful woman
Pursuing his fair in a solitary street
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Exhibition

A public display, intentional or otherwise, generally characterised as negative, a shameful exhibition or a disgusting exhibition
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Fair

A gathering of stalls and amusements for public entertainment
I won a goldfish at the fair
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Exhibition

A demonstration of personal skill or feelings.
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Fair

A periodic gathering for the sale of goods.
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Exhibition

(UK) A financial award or prize given to a student (who becomes an exhibitioner) by a school or university, usually on the basis of academic merit.
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Fair

(of the weather) become fine
Looks like it's fairing off some
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Exhibition

(sports) A game which does not impact the standings for any major cup or competition.
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Fair

Streamline (a vehicle, boat, or aircraft) by adding fairings
It is fully faired and race ready
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Exhibition

The act of exhibiting for inspection, or of holding forth to view; manifestation; display.
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Fair

Of pleasing appearance, especially because of a pure or fresh quality; comely.
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Exhibition

That which is exhibited, held forth, or displayed; also, any public show; a display of works of art, or of feats of skill, or of oratorical or dramatic ability; as, an exhibition of animals; an exhibition of pictures, statues, etc.; an industrial exhibition.
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Fair

Light in color, especially blond
Fair hair.
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Exhibition

Sustenance; maintenance; allowance, esp. for meat and drink; pension.
What maintenance he from his friends receives,Like exhibition thou shalt have from me.
I have given more exhibitions to scholars, in my days, than to the priests.
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Fair

Of light complexion
Fair skin.
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Exhibition

The act of administering a remedy.
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Fair

Free of clouds or storms; clear and sunny
Fair skies.
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Exhibition

The act of exhibiting;
A remarkable exhibition of musicianship
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Fair

Free of blemishes or stains; clean and pure
One's fair name.
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Exhibition

A collection of things (goods or works of art etc.) for public display
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Fair

Promising; likely
We're in a fair way to succeed.
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Fair

Having or exhibiting a disposition that is free of favoritism or bias; impartial
A fair mediator.
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Fair

Just to all parties; equitable
A compromise that is fair to both factions.
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Fair

Being in accordance with relative merit or significance
She wanted to receive her fair share of the proceeds.
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Fair

Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics
A fair tactic.
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Fair

Moderately good; acceptable or satisfactory
Gave only a fair performance of the play.
In fair health.
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Fair

Superficially true or appealing; specious
Don't trust his fair promises.
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Fair

Lawful to hunt or attack
Fair game.
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Fair

(Archaic) Free of all obstacles.
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Fair

In a proper or legal manner
Playing fair.
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Fair

Directly; straight
A blow caught fair in the stomach.
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Fair

To join (pieces) so as to be smooth, even, or regular
Faired the aircraft's wing into the fuselage.
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Fair

(Archaic) A beautiful or beloved woman.
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Fair

(Obsolete) Loveliness; beauty.
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Fair

A gathering for the buying and selling of goods, often held at a particular time and place; a market
We attended the annual book fair.
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Fair

An exhibition of home or farm products and skills, usually with competitions and entertainments
My pumpkin won first prize at the county fair.
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Fair

An exhibition intended to inform people about a product or business opportunity
A computer fair.
A job fair.
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Fair

An event, usually for the benefit of a charity or public institution, including entertainment and the sale of goods; a bazaar
A church fair.
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Fair

Beautiful, of a pleasing appearance, with a pure and fresh quality.
Monday's child is fair of face.
There was once a knight who wooed a fair young maid.
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Fair

Unblemished (figuratively or literally); clean and pure; innocent.
One's fair name
After scratching out and replacing various words in the manuscript, he scribed a fair copy to send to the publisher.
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Fair

Light in color, pale, particularly with regard to skin tone but also referring to blond hair.
She had fair hair and blue eyes.
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Fair

Just, equitable.
He must be given a fair trial.
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Fair

Adequate, reasonable, or decent, but not excellent.
Their performance has been only fair.
The patient was in a fair condition after some treatment.
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Fair

Favorable to a ship's course.
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Fair

Not overcast; cloudless; clear; pleasant; propitious; said of the sky, weather, or wind, etc.
A fair sky;
A fair day
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Fair

Free from obstacles or hindrances; unobstructed; unencumbered; open; direct; said of a road, passage, etc.
A fair mark;
In fair sight;
A fair view
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Fair

(shipbuilding) Without sudden change of direction or curvature; smooth; flowing; said of the figure of a vessel, and of surfaces, water lines, and other lines.
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Fair

(baseball) Between the baselines.
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Fair

Taken direct from an opponent's foot, without the ball touching the ground or another player.
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Fair

Not a no ball.
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Fair

(statistics) Of a coin or die, having equal chance of landing on any side, unbiased.
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Fair

Something which is fair (in various senses of the adjective).
When will we learn to distinguish between the fair and the foul?
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Fair

(obsolete) A woman, a member of the ‘fair sex’; also as a collective singular, women.
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Fair

(obsolete) Fairness, beauty.
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Fair

A fair woman; a sweetheart.
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Fair

(obsolete) Good fortune; good luck.
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Fair

A community gathering to celebrate and exhibit local achievements.
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Fair

An event for public entertainment and trade, a market.
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Fair

An event for professionals in a trade to learn of new products and do business, a trade fair.
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Fair

A travelling amusement park (called a funfair in British English and a (travelling) carnival in US English).
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Fair

(transitive) To smoothen or even a surface (especially a connection or junction on a surface).
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Fair

(transitive) To bring into perfect alignment (especially about rivet holes when connecting structural members).
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Fair

To make an animation smooth, removing any jerkiness.
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Fair

(transitive) To construct or design with the aim of producing a smooth outline or reducing air drag or water resistance.
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Fair

To make fair or beautiful.
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Fair

Clearly, openly, frankly, civilly, honestly, favorably, auspiciously, agreeably
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Fair

Free from spots, specks, dirt, or imperfection; unblemished; clean; pure.
A fair white linen cloth.
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Fair

Pleasing to the eye; handsome; beautiful.
Who can not see many a fair French city, for one fair French made.
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Fair

Without a dark hue; light; clear; as, a fair skin.
The northern people large and fair-complexioned.
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Fair

Not overcast; cloudless; clear; pleasant; propitious; favorable; - said of the sky, weather, or wind, etc.; as, a fair sky; a fair day.
You wish fair winds may waft him over.
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Jul 18, 2019

Fair

Free from obstacles or hindrances; unobstructed; unincumbered; open; direct; - said of a road, passage, etc.; as, a fair mark; in fair sight; a fair view.
The caliphs obtained a mighty empire, which was in a fair way to have enlarged.
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Jul 18, 2019

Fair

Without sudden change of direction or curvature; smooth; flowing; - said of the figure of a vessel, and of surfaces, water lines, and other lines.
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Fair

Characterized by frankness, honesty, impartiality, or candor; open; upright; free from suspicion or bias; equitable; just; - said of persons, character, or conduct; as, a fair man; fair dealing; a fair statement.
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Fair

Pleasing; favorable; inspiring hope and confidence; - said of words, promises, etc.
When fair words and good counsel will not prevail on us, we must be frighted into our duty.
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Fair

Distinct; legible; as, fair handwriting.
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Fair

Free from any marked characteristic; average; middling; as, a fair specimen.
The news is very fair and good, my lord.
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Fair

Clearly; openly; frankly; civilly; honestly; favorably; auspiciously; agreeably.
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Fair

Fairness, beauty.
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Fair

A fair woman; a sweetheart.
I have found out a gift for my fair.
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Fair

Good fortune; good luck.
Now fair befall thee !
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Fair

A gathering of buyers and sellers, assembled at a particular place with their merchandise at a stated or regular season, or by special appointment, for trade.
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Fair

A festival, and sale of fancy articles. erc., usually for some charitable object; as, a Grand Army fair; a church fair.
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Fair

A competitive exhibition of wares, farm products, etc., not primarily for purposes of sale; as, the Mechanics' fair; an agricultural fair.
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Fair

An exhibition by a number of organizations, including governmental organizations, for the purpose of acquainting people with such organizations or their members, not primarily for commercial purposes; as, the 1939 World's Fair.
Meet me in St. Louis, LouisMeet me at the fairDon't tell me the lights are shiningAnyplace but there.
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Fair

To make fair or beautiful.
Fairing the foul.
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Fair

To make smooth and flowing, as a vessel's lines.
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Fair

A traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.
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Fair

Gathering of producers to promote business;
World fair
Trade fair
Book fair
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Fair

A competitive exhibition of farm products;
She won a blue ribbon for her baking at the county fair
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Fair

A sale of miscellany; often for charity;
The church bazaar
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Fair

Join so that the external surfaces blend smoothly
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Fair

Free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; or conforming with established standards or rules;
A fair referee
Fair deal
On a fair footing
A fair fight
By fair means or foul
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Fair

Showing lack of favoritism;
The cold neutrality of an impartial judge
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Fair

More than adequate in quality;
Fair work
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Fair

Not excessive or extreme;
A fairish income
Reasonable prices
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Fair

Visually appealing;
Our fair city
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Fair

Very pleasing to the eye;
My bonny lass
There's a bonny bay beyond
A comely face
Young fair maidens
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Fair

(of a baseball) hit between the foul lines;
He hit a fair ball over the third base bag
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Fair

Of no exceptional quality or ability;
A novel of average merit
Only a fair performance of the sonata
In fair health
The caliber of the students has gone from mediocre to above average
The performance was middling at best
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Fair

Attractively feminine;
The fair sex
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Fair

(of a manuscript) having few alterations or corrections;
Fair copy
A clean manuscript
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Fair

Free of clouds or rain;
Today will be fair and warm
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Fair

(used of hair or skin) pale or light-colored;
A fair complexion
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Fair

In conformity with the rules or laws and without fraud or cheating;
They played fairly
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Fair

In a fair evenhanded manner;
Deal fairly with one another
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Fair

A gathering featuring multiple vendors, games, and attractions.
We had so much fun at the county fair.
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Fair

A competitive event showcasing livestock or agricultural products.
We bought fresh produce at the agricultural fair.
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Common Curiosities

Can a fair be educational?

Yes, some fairs like science fairs have an educational focus.
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What is a fair?

A fair is a broader gathering featuring vendors, games, and possibly rides.
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Are exhibitions always indoors?

While commonly indoors, some exhibitions can be outdoor installations.
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Do all fairs involve rides and games?

No, some fairs like trade fairs or job fairs do not have rides or games.
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Is admission to exhibitions always paid?

Most exhibitions have an entry fee, but some may be free.
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How long does a fair usually last?

The duration of a fair can vary, ranging from a single day to several weeks.
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What is an exhibition?

An exhibition is a formal, often thematic, display or showcase usually held in museums or galleries.
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Can an exhibition feature performances?

Yes, some exhibitions include live performances or interactive sessions.
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Can an exhibition last for one day?

Exhibitions usually last for an extended period but can be short-term.
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Can you buy things at an exhibition?

Generally, exhibitions are not commercial, but some may sell catalogues or replicas.
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Do fairs always happen outdoors?

No, some fairs like trade fairs can occur indoors.
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Can fairs be free to enter?

Many fairs offer free entry but charge for specific attractions or games.
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Are exhibitions interactive?

Some modern exhibitions offer interactive elements for engagement.
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Can you buy products at a fair?

Yes, fairs often have vendors selling various products.
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Are exhibitions and fairs the same?

No, exhibitions are generally more formal and thematic, while fairs are more varied and recreational.
Fiza Rafique
Sep 21, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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