Etymology
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unfair (adj.)

Old English unfægr "unlovely, not beautiful, deformed, hideous, unlovable," from un- (1) "not" + fair (adj.). Similar formation in Old Norse ufagr, Gothic unfagrs. Meaning "wicked, evil, bad" is recorded from c. 1300. Sense of "not equitable, unjust" is first recorded 1713. Related: Unfairly.

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unfairness (n.)

Old English unfægernes "ugliness, disfigurement;" see unfair + -ness.

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misrepresentation (n.)

"unfair or dishonest account," 1640s, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + representation.

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one-sided (adj.)

1833, "dealing with one side only of a question or dispute," hence, "partial, unjust, unfair," from one + side (n.). Translating German ein-seitiger. Related: One-sidedly; one-sidedness.

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mismatch (n.)

"a bad match, discrepancy, lack of correspondence," c. 1600, from mis- (1) "bad, wrong" + match (n.2). Sports sense of "unfair contest due to unequal abilities" is by 1954. Related: Mismatchment (1841).

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unequal (adj.)

1530s, "unjust, unfair," from un- (1) "not" + equal (adj.). Meaning "not the same in amount, size, quality, etc." is recorded from 1560s (inequal in this sense is from late 14c.). Sense of "inadequate, insufficient" (to some task) is attested from 1690s. Related: Unequally.

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inequitable (adj.)

"unfair, unjust," 1660s, from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + equitable, which is ultimately from Latin aequus "even, just, equal." Related: Inequitably. The same formation in English has also meant "impassable on horses, unfit for riding over" (1620s), from Latin inequabilis, from equus "a horse" (see equine).

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dishonest (adj.)
Origin and meaning of dishonest

late 14c., "disgraceful, shameful, without honesty or integrity; unjust, unfair, disposed to deceive or cheat; unmodest, unchaste," from Old French deshoneste (13c., Modern French déshonnête) "dishonorable, horrible, indecent," perhaps from a Medieval Latin or Gallo-Roman compound of Latin dis- "not" (see dis-) + honestus "honorable; deserving honor, respectable," from honos "honor, dignity, office, reputation," which is of unknown origin. The Latin formation was dehonestus. Related: Dishonestly.

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foul (adj.)

Old English ful "rotten, unclean, vile, corrupt, offensive to the senses," from Proto-Germanic *fulaz (source also of Old Saxon and Old Frisian ful, Middle Dutch voul, Dutch vuil, Old High German fül, German faul, Gothic füls), from PIE *pu- (2) "to rot, decay," perhaps from the sound made in reaction to smelling something bad (see pus).

Old English ful occasionally meant "ugly" (as contrasted with fæger (adj.), modern fair (adj.)), and this sense became frequent in Middle English. The cognate in Swedish is the usual word for "ugly." Of weather from mid-14c. In the sporting sense of "irregular, unfair, contrary to established rule or practice" it is first attested 1797, though foul play is recorded from mid-15c. Baseball sense of "out of play" attested by 1860.

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belt (n.)

Old English belt "belt; girdle; broad, flat strip or strap of material used to encircle the waist," from Proto-Germanic *baltjaz (source also of Old High German balz, Old Norse balti, Swedish bälte), an early Germanic borrowing from Latin balteus "girdle, sword belt," which is said by Varro to be an Etruscan word.

The transferred sense of "broad stripe encircling something with its ends joined" is from 1660s; that of "broad strip or tract" of any sort, without notion of encircling (as in Bible belt) is by 1808. As a mark of rank or distinction, mid-14c.; references to boxing championship belts date from 1812. The mechanical sense is from 1795.

Below the belt "unfair" (1889) is from pugilism. To get something under (one's) belt was originally literal, to get it into one's stomach (1839), figurative use of that us by 1931. To tighten (one's) belt "endure privation" is from 1887.

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