Fair play


      • fairness and justice
        To refer to the principles of equality, honesty, and integrity in a game, competition, or situation where rules and regulations are in place

      • honest and honorable behavior
        To describe someone's actions that are in accordance with moral and ethical standards, especially in a competitive or challenging situation

      • equal treatment
        To demand equal treatment and opportunities for everyone, without any form of bias or discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, or social status

    Examples of Fair play

    • In the football match, both teams played with fair play, showing respect for each other's abilities and not resorting to dirty tactics.

      The phrase "fair play" in this context means that both teams played by the rules and showed sportsmanship and goodwill towards each other. It suggests that the players did not cheat or use underhand tactics to gain an unfair advantage.

    • Although their companies were competing against each other, they agreed to play fair and not try to sabotage each other's success.

      In this example, "fair play" is used in a business context to mean that both parties agreed to follow the rules and not engage in unfair competition. It suggests that they respected each other's position in the market and did not try to undermine each other's efforts.

    • After a disagreement, they decided to let bygones be bygones and play fair with each other going forward.

      In this example, "fair play" is used to mean that the individuals involved were willing to put past disagreements behind them and move forward with a sense of fairness and mutual respect. It suggests that they intended to treat each other equally and fairly in future interactions.

    • The politician was accused of not playing fair in the election, but the allegations turned out to be baseless.

      Here, "fair play" is used in the context of an election campaign, suggesting that the politician behaved according to the rules and did not engage in any underhand tactics or attempt to cheat. The use of "played fair" in this context suggests that the politician acted with honesty and integrity throughout the campaign.

    • The two athletes showed fair play by agreeing to share the first place award.

      In this example, 'fair play' is being used to describe the behavior of two athletes who displayed good sportsmanship by agreeing to divide the top prize, rather than competing for it solely on the basis of who finished first.Example 2: (Situation: Co-workers contribute equally to a project, and their efforts are acknowledged)

    • The team demonstrated fair play by awarding equal credit to all members who contributed equally to the project's success.

      This example illustrates the use of 'fair play' in a professional context, indicating that all team members who made substantial verifiable contributions to a project are given proper recognition and credit, regardless of position or hierarchy.Example 3: (Situation: A driver allows another car to merge ahead of them)

    • The driver exhibited fair play by allowing another car to merge ahead of him/her, despite being ahead in the lane.

      Here, 'fair play' is being used to describe a driver's decision to let another car take priority, even though it could potentially impact their own position in traffic. This action is considered a display of good sportsmanship and respect for other drivers on the road.Example 4: (Situation: A parent lets their child's team win a game, even though their team could have won)

    • The parent displayed fair play by allowing their child's team to win the game, despite the fact that the other team had a clear advantage.

      This example showcases 'fair play' in a unique way by referring to an adult's decision to let their child's team win a game, even if another team could have easily beaten them. This gesture is often seen as a way to build confidence and self-esteem in the child's team, as well as demonstrating the importance of being a good sport and treating others with respect.


    The idiom "fair play" is commonly used to describe a concept of equity, honesty, and equality in various contexts. It can refer to the rules and regulations of a game or competition, where all participants are expected to adhere to the same standards of behavior and conduct. In this sense, "fair play" encourages sportsmanship and discourages any form of cheating or unfair advantage.

    Additionally, "fair play" can also be used to describe someone's character or actions. It implies a sense of moral and ethical integrity, where an individual is honest and honorable in their behavior, even in challenging or competitive situations. This use of the idiom highlights the importance of personal values and principles, as well as the expectation for others to follow them.

    Finally, "fair play" can also be seen as a call for equal treatment and opportunities for all individuals. It promotes the idea of fairness and justice, advocating for a society where everyone is treated with the same respect and given the same opportunities, regardless of their background or status. This use of the idiom reflects the belief in equality and the rejection of any form of discrimination or bias.

    Origin of "Fair play"

    The origin of the idiom "fair play" can be traced back to the 16th century in England, where it was commonly used in reference to sports and games. It was originally used to describe a game that was played according to the rules, with no cheating or unfair tactics. Over time, the term evolved to also encompass the idea of honesty and integrity in all aspects of life, not just in sports.

    The concept of "fair play" can also be seen in various ancient cultures, such as the ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed in the importance of following rules and treating others with respect in sports and other activities. This idea was later adopted by the modern Olympic Games, where "fair play" is considered one of the core values of the event.

    The idiom "fair play" has since become a widely used phrase in the English language, and its meaning has expanded to encompass various aspects of fairness, equality, and ethical behavior. It continues to be used in sports, but also in everyday situations where the principles of fairness and justice are valued.