Definition of frank
- a frank reply
- frank materialism
- frank pus
our ballet teacher is very frank about telling her students whether she thinks they have the talent for a career in dance
The word frank comes from the name of the Franks, a West Germanic people who lived long ago. In the early Middle Ages the Franks were in power in France. (It was from them that the country got its name, in Latin Francia.) The Franks eventually merged with the earlier Gaulish and Roman inhabitants, and their name (Francus in Latin) lost its ethnic sense and referred to any inhabitant of Francia who was free, that is, not a slave or bondman. As an adjective, francus came to mean simply “free.” From the English adjective frank, which means “free” or “forthright,” we get the verb frank, which means “to mark mail with an official sign so that it may be mailed free.”
First Known Use: 1535See Words from the same year
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
—used to say that someone is speaking or writing in a very direct and honest way
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