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Only present, interested, or invested when things are going well, not during times of trouble or difficulty. I thought Allison and I had a strong friendship, but I learned she was just another fair-weather friend when she stopped talking to me after my divorce. I've been rooting for the home team in their playoff run, but I'll admit I'm just a fair-weather fan.
A person who is supportive of and enthusiastic about a sports team only when that team is performing well. I've been rooting for the home team in their playoff run, but I'll admit I'm just a fair-weather fan.
See also: fan
Someone who remains a friend only when things are going well but abandons others during times of trouble or difficulty. I thought Allison and I had a strong friendship, but I learned she was just another fair-weather friend when she stopped talking to me after my divorce.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Fig. someone who is your friend only when things are pleasant or going well for you. Bill stayed for lunch but he wouldn't help me with the yard work. He's just a fair-weather friend. A fair-weather friend isn't much help in an emergency.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
A person who is dependable in good times but is not in times of trouble. For example, You can't rely on Sarah-she's strictly a fair-weather friend. This expression likens fair weather to good times. [Early 1700s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mod. temporary; insincere. (From fair-weather sailor.) I need something more than a fair-weather friend to help me through all this.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
A friend who is faithful in good times but fails you in time of trouble. It is the opposite of a friend in need is a friend indeed. The transfer of “fair weather” to “good times” presumably occurred long before, but the adjectival application to a friend of dubious loyalty did not take place until the early eighteenth century.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer