Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR FAIR-TO-MIDDLING

He for one had enjoyed himself just fair-to-middling, he said.

He played a fair-to-middling game; and nothing more need be said of him.

She concerned herself far more with Luke, an active, fair-to-middling American boy somewhat inclined to be spoiled.

"Moore, he's a fair-to-middling horse," said Belllounds, with the air of judge of horseflesh.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English fæger "beautiful, lovely, pleasant," from Proto-Germanic *fagraz (cf. Old Saxon fagar, Old Norse fagr, Old High German fagar "beautiful," Gothic fagrs "fit"), perhaps from PIE *pek- "to make pretty" (cf. Lithuanian puošiu "I decorate").

The meaning in reference to weather (c.1200) preserves the original sense (opposed to foul). Sense of "light-complexioned" (1550s) reflects tastes in beauty; sense of "free from bias" (mid-14c.) evolved from another early meaning, "morally pure, unblemished" (late 12c.). The sporting senses (fair ball, fair catch etc.) began in 1856. Fair play is from 1590s; fair and square is from c.1600. Fair-haired in the figurative sense of "darling, favorite" is from 1909. First record of fair-weather friends is from 1736.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR FAIR-TO-MIDDLING

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.