\ ˈfraŋk How to pronounce frank (audio) \

Definition of frank

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression a frank reply
2a : unmistakably evident frank materialism
b : clinically evident and unmistakable frank pus


franked; franking; franks

Definition of frank (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to mark (a piece of mail) with an official signature or sign indicating the right of the sender to free mailing
b : to mail free
c : to affix to (mail) a stamp or a marking indicating the payment of postage
2 : to enable to pass or go freely or easily


noun (1)

Definition of frank (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : the signature of the sender on a piece of franked mail serving in place of a postage stamp
b : a mark or stamp on a piece of mail indicating postage paid
c : a franked envelope
2 : the privilege of sending mail free of charge


noun (2)

Definition of frank (Entry 4 of 5)


noun (3)
\ ˈfraŋk How to pronounce Frank (audio) \

Definition of Frank (Entry 5 of 5)

: a member of a West Germanic tribal confederacy that entered the Roman provinces in a.d. 253, occupied the Netherlands and most of Gaul, and established themselves along the Rhine

Other Words from frank


frankness noun


frankable \ ˈfraŋ-​kə-​bəl How to pronounce Frank (audio) \ adjective
franker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for frank


frank, candid, open, plain mean showing willingness to tell what one feels or thinks. frank stresses lack of shyness or secretiveness or of evasiveness from considerations of tact or expedience. frank discussions candid suggests expression marked by sincerity and honesty especially in offering unwelcome criticism or opinion. a candid appraisal open implies frankness but suggests more indiscretion than frank and less earnestness than candid. open in saying what they think plain suggests outspokenness and freedom from affectation or subtlety in expression. plain talk

Did you know?

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.”

Examples of frank in a Sentence

Adjective our ballet teacher is very frank about telling her students whether she thinks they have the talent for a career in dance

First Known Use of frank


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1904, in the meaning defined above

Noun (3)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frank

Adjective, Verb, and Noun (1)

Middle English, free, from Anglo-French franc, from Medieval Latin francus, from Late Latin Francus Frank

Noun (3)

Middle English, partly from Old English Franca; partly from Anglo-French Franc, from Late Latin Francus, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German Franko Frank, Old English Franca

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The first known use of frank was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Frank.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for frank


\ ˈfraŋk How to pronounce frank (audio) \

Kids Definition of frank

: free in or characterized by freedom in expressing feelings and opinions a frank discussion

Other Words from frank

frankly adverb spoke frankly


\ ˈfraŋk How to pronounce frank (audio) \

Medical Definition of frank

: clinically evident frank pus frank gout

Frank biographical name (1)

\ ˈfraŋk How to pronounce Frank (audio) , ˈfräŋk \

Definition of Frank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Anne 1929–1945 German-born diarist during the Holocaust


biographical name (2)

Definition of Frank (Entry 2 of 2)

Joachim 1940–     American (German-born) biochemist and biophysicist

More from Merriam-Webster on frank

Nglish: Translation of frank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frank for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about frank


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