frank 1 (frăngk)
adj. frank·er, frank·est
1. Open and sincere in expression; straightforward: made several frank remarks about the quality of their work.
2. Clearly manifest; evident: frank enjoyment.
tr.v. franked, frank·ing, franks
a. To put an official mark on (a piece of mail) so that it can be sent free of charge.
b. To send (mail) free of charge.
2. To place a stamp or mark on (a piece of mail) to show the payment of postage.
3. To enable (a person) to come and go freely.
a. A mark or signature placed on a piece of mail to indicate the right to send it free of charge.
b. The right to send mail free.
2. A franked piece of mail.
[Middle English, free, from Old French franc, from Late Latin Francus, Frank; see FRANK.]
Synonyms: frank1, candid, forthright, outspoken, straightforward, open
These adjectives mean revealing or disposed to reveal one's thoughts freely and honestly. Frank implies directness, sometimes to the point of bluntness: "And yes, to be frank, the singing was atrocious" (Eileen Pollack).
Candid and forthright often suggest refusal to evade difficult or unpleasant issues: "Save, save, oh save me from the candid friend!" (George Canning). "He wanted his countrymen to know the truth, and he was forthright about the challenges they faced" (Sean Hannity).
Outspoken usually implies bold lack of reserve: "She is outspoken to the point of never holding back, on politics or much else" (Joseph Epstein).
Straightforward denotes directness of manner and expression: "George was a straightforward soul....'See here!' he said. 'Are you engaged to anybody?'" (Booth Tarkington).
Open suggests freedom from all trace of reserve or secretiveness: "I will be open and sincere with you" (Joseph Addison).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.