forth·​right | \ ˈfȯrth-ˌrīt How to pronounce forthright (audio) \

Definition of forthright

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : free from ambiguity or evasiveness : going straight to the point a forthright critic was forthright in appraising the problem
2 : notably simple in style or quality forthright furniture
3 archaic : proceeding straight on



Definition of forthright (Entry 2 of 3)

1 archaic
a : directly forward
b : without hesitation : frankly
2 archaic : at once



Definition of forthright (Entry 3 of 3)

: a straight path

Other Words from forthright


forthrightly adverb
forthrightness noun

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: Adjective Birx is forthright in calling out numerous examples of her sexist treatment by other White House staffers, especially Meadows and Short. Richard J. Tofel, The Atlantic, 13 May 2022 This happens when leaders are fearful of how feedback or commentary will be received and seek to disguise it rather than being forthright. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement, much more forthright. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2022 Some industries have been more forthright acknowledging the pronouns and gender identities than others. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 25 Apr. 2022 National conservatives are forthright in their belief that economic efficiency and the national interest diverge. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 19 Dec. 2021 But the critics were forthright in their harsh assessments. David Zweig, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2021 But her forthright, unpretentious presence is very much alive in this beautiful volume filled with food, family, reminiscences, recipes and no-nonsense cooking tips. Heller Mcalpin, WSJ, 7 Apr. 2022 Yet, while his tone is suitably serious and forthright when discussing his first-hand experience with the pandemic, Poltz quickly sought to lighten the mood by claiming there was at least one temporary advantage from contracting COVID. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forthright.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of forthright


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

History and Etymology for forthright


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

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

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Forthright.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for forthright


forth·​right | \ ˈfȯrth-ˌrīt How to pronounce forthright (audio) \

Kids Definition of forthright

: going straight to the point clearly and firmly a forthright answer

Other Words from forthright

forthrightly adverb She had spoken forthrightly.

More from Merriam-Webster on forthright

Nglish: Translation of forthright for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forthright for Arabic Speakers


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