Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Open and sincere in expression; straightforward: made several frank remarks about the quality of their work.
  • adj. Clearly manifest; evident: frank enjoyment.
  • transitive v. To put an official mark on (a piece of mail) so that it can be sent free of charge.
  • transitive v. To send (mail) free of charge.
  • transitive v. To place a stamp or mark on (a piece of mail) to show the payment of postage.
  • transitive v. To enable (a person) to come and go freely.
  • n. A mark or signature placed on a piece of mail to indicate the right to send it free of charge.
  • n. The right to send mail free.
  • n. A franked piece of mail.
  • n. Informal A frankfurter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. honest, especially in an manner that seems slightly blunt.
  • n. Free postage, a right exercised by governments (usually with definite article).
  • n. The notice on an envelope where a stamp would normally be found.
  • v. To place a frank on an envelope.
  • n. A hot dog or sausage.
  • n. the grey heron.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Unbounded by restrictions, limitations, etc.; free.
  • adj. Free in uttering one's real sentiments; not reserved; using no disguise; candid; ingenuous
  • adj. Liberal; generous; profuse.
  • adj. Unrestrained; loose; licentious; -- used in a bad sense.
  • n. A pigsty.
  • n. The common heron; -- so called from its note.
  • n. The privilege of sending letters or other mail matter, free of postage, or without charge; also, the sign, mark, or signature denoting that a letter or other mail matter is to go free of postage. Called also the franking privilege.
  • n. A member of one of the German tribes that in the fifth century overran and conquered Gaul, and established the kingdom of France.
  • n. A native or inhabitant of Western Europe; a European; -- a term used in the Levant.
  • n. A French coin. See Franc.
  • transitive v. To shut up in a frank or sty; to pen up; hence, to cram; to fatten.
  • transitive v. To send by public conveyance free of expense.
  • transitive v. To extempt from charge for postage, as a letter, package, or packet, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Free; open; unrestrained; unconditioned.
  • Liberal; generous; not niggardly.
  • Free from disguise or concealment; candid in utterance; sincere and unreserved in manner: as, a frank disposition; a frank avowal.
  • Freely disclosed; clearly manifest; undisguised; indubitable: as, frank ignorance or poverty.
  • Unrestrained; using free license.
  • Synonyms Open, Ingenuous, etc. (see candid); plain, unreserved, undisguised.
  • To send or cause to be sent by public conveyance free of expense: as, to frank a letter.
  • Hence To facilitate the passage or movements of; give the right of way to, as a traveler.
  • In carpentry, to form the joint of, as that of a window-sash where the crosspieces of the frame intersect each other, by cutting away no more wood than is sufficient to show a miter.
  • n. A pigsty; a pen for fattening boars.
  • Sty-fed. See I.
  • To shut up in a frank or sty: usually with up.
  • To feed; cram; fatten.
  • n. A member of a body of Germanic tribes which coalesced under this name in the third century, and afterward separated into three groups, the Chatti, the Ripuarian Franks, and the Salian or Salic Franks.
  • n. [A readoption of the Oriental form of the European name Frank, originating at the time of the crusades, when the Franks that is, the French, and by extension the other nations of western Europe) became familiar to the Turks, Arabs, etc. See Feringee.] A European of the western nations: a common designation among the Turks, Arabs, and other Oriental peoples for any western foreigner.
  • n. The signature or indorsement of a person holding the privilege of franking mail-matter, written or impressed on the wrapper in token of the right of the inclosure to pass free.
  • n. A letter thus indorsed, sent by mail free of postage.
  • n. A former spelling of franc.
  • n. A name of the heron, Ardea cinerea.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. clearly manifest; evident
  • n. a smooth-textured sausage of minced beef or pork usually smoked; often served on a bread roll
  • v. exempt by means of an official pass or letter, as from customs or other checks
  • v. stamp with a postmark to indicate date and time of mailing
  • adj. characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion
  • n. a member of the ancient Germanic peoples who spread from the Rhine into the Roman Empire in the 4th century

Etymologies

Middle English, free, from Old French franc, from Late Latin Francus, Frank; see Frank.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French franc, “free”, in turn from the name of an early Germanic confederation, the Franks. (Wiktionary)
Shortened form of frankfurter. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • It's funny - there are the opposite meanings having to do with movement (being encouraged to move freely versus being shut up in a sty), but that also leads to puns about encouraging someone to speak frankly or to stop speaking (to "shut up").

    August 6, 2010

  • Is an autantonym: open v. shut in (as in a frank or sty).

    Thanks to ruzuzu.

    August 6, 2010

  • Can I be frank?
    Is that your name?
    No, my name’s Godfrey.

    May 3, 2009

  • In stamp collecting, an indication on a cover that postage is prepaid or partially prepaid, or that the letter is to be carried free of postage. Franks may be written, hand-stamped, imprinted, or affixed. Free franking is usually limited to soldiers' mail or selected government correspondence. Postage stamp and postage meter stamps are modern methods of franking a letter.

    August 26, 2008