Words related to frank


late Old English, from Old French France, from Medieval Latin Francia, from Francus "a Frank" (see Frank). Old English had Franc-rice "kingdom of the Franks," more commonly Franc-land.

franchise (n.)

c. 1300, fraunchise, "a special right or privilege (by grant of a sovereign or government);" also "national sovereignty; nobility of character, generosity; the king's authority; the collective rights claimed by a people or town or religious institution," also used of the state of Adam and Eve before the Fall, from Old French franchise "freedom, exemption; right, privilege" (12c.), from variant stem of franc "free" (see frank (adj.)).

From late 14c. as "freedom; not being in servitude; social status of a freeman;" early 15c. as "citizenship, membership in a community or town; membership in a craft or guild." The "special right" sense narrowed 18c. to "particular legal privilege," then "right to vote" (1790). From mid-15c. as "right to buy or sell," also "right to exclude others from buying or selling, a monopoly;" meaning "authorization by a company to sell its products or services" is from 1959.


masc. proper name, from French François, from Old French Franceis "noble, free," as a noun "a Frenchman, inhabitant of Ile-de-France; the French language," from Late Latin Franciscus, literally "Frankish;" cognate with French and frank (adj.).


word-forming element meaning "French" or "the Franks," from Medieval Latin combining form of Franci "the Franks" (see Frank), hence, by extension, "the French." Used from early 18c. in forming English compound words.

franc-tireur (n.)

"sharpshooter of the irregular infantry," 1808, French, literally "free-shooter," from franc "free" (see frank (adj.)) + tireur "shooter," from tirer "to draw, shoot" (see tirade). A term from the French Revolution.

frankincense (n.)

aromatic gum resin from a certain type of tree, used anciently as incense and in religious rituals, late 14c., apparently from Old French franc encense, from franc "noble, true" (see frank (adj.)), in this case probably signifying "pure" or "of the highest quality," + encens "incense" (see incense (n.)).

Frankish (adj.)

"pertaining to the ancient Franks," 1802, from Frank + -ish. As the name of the West Germanic language spoken by the ancient Franks, from 1863. (Frenkis is recorded c. 1400.). The language was absorbed into French, which it influenced, especially in the northern regions from which the Normans conquered England in 1066.


Middle English Frankeleyn, attested as a surname from late 12c., from Anglo-French fraunclein "freeholder, land-owner of free but not noble birth," from Old French franc "free" (see frank (adj.)); probably with the Germanic suffix also found in chamberlain.

The Franklin stove (1787) so called because it was invented by U.S. scientist/politician Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790). In early 19c., lightning rods often were called Franklins from his famous experiments with lightning in the 1750s.

frankly (adv.)

"in an unreserved manner, without concealment or disguise," 1530s, from frank (adj.) + -ly (2).

frankness (n.)

"plainness of speech, candor," 1550s, from frank (adj.) + -ness.

Page 2