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forth·​right ˈfȯrth-ˌrīt How to pronounce forthright (audio)
: free from ambiguity or evasiveness : going straight to the point
a forthright critic
was forthright in appraising the problem
: notably simple in style or quality
forthright furniture
archaic : proceeding straight on
forthrightly adverb
forthrightness noun


2 of 3


: directly forward
: without hesitation : frankly
archaic : at once


3 of 3


: a straight path

Examples of forthright in a Sentence

Adjective she sometimes was a little too forthright for her own good and ended up saying things that inadvertently offended people I appreciate your forthright explanation of the situation.
Recent Examples on the Web
Byington’s cast this droll comedy well with funny turns from actors portraying Carter’s forthright ex-girlfriend (Oliva Thirlby), a funeral-loving grad student (Luxy Banner) who challenges him all the time and his sorta best friend (Martin Starr) and his horny wife (Jocelyn DeBoer). Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 27 Mar. 2024 Green was in his early fifties, angular and forthright. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 25 Mar. 2024 Interestingly enough, Charles chose to be forthright about his diagnosis while Kensington Palace has been reluctant to share the details of Kate’s abdominal surgery. Sydney Lake, Fortune, 11 Mar. 2024 Many, including the families of those hostages still held by Hamas, direct their anger toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who dismissed the terms of a ceasefire and hostage deal put forward by Hamas in forthright terms. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024 While to me this seems honest, forthright and fearless — this other couple seem to see your approach as aggressive, negative, or even hostile. Amy Dickinson, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2024 That forthright emotion is ingratiating, yet happily, these same skills also are evident in lighter material, such as a new song about her fervent desire that her ex be murdered by his new girlfriend. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rolling Stone, 17 Mar. 2024 Brad is a forthright, straightforward person, fun to be with and capable of great joy. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 While to me this seems honest, forthright and fearless, this other couple seem to see your approach as aggressive, negative or even hostile. Amy Dickinson, The Mercury News, 2 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'forthright.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English forthriht, from forth + riht right

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1606, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of forthright was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near forthright

Cite this Entry

“Forthright.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: going straight to the point clearly and firmly
a forthright answer
forthrightly adverb
forthrightness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on forthright

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