What Is The Definition Of “Quite Frankly”: Meaning, Examples & Synonyms

There are many phrases in the English language that people use without understanding their meaning. “Quite frankly” has become a very popular way to express honesty in writing or conversation.

In this post, we’ll give you the exact definition of “quite frankly” with some example sentences. Read on to learn how to use this common saying in your writing!

What Is The Meaning Of “Quite Frankly”?

The phrase “quite frankly” is an expression used to introduce an honest statement or opinion. In most situations, this saying implies that the speaker is about to share a controversial thought in a blunt or straightforward manner.

“Quite frankly” is often used as a warning in formal writing pieces or in a conversation. This allows a person to know they are about to receive news or a statement in a very direct fashion.

Here is a list of situations that somebody could use the saying “quite frankly” in their daily life.

  • Expressing an honest assessment
  • Sharing personal feelings or experiences
  • Giving a candid evaluation
  • Voicing a strong opinion
  • Offering a blunt or unpopular perspective
Meaning of saying "quite frankly"

Sentence Examples

Here are 5 examples that demonstrate how to use the phrase “quite frankly” correctly in your writing.

  1. Quite frankly, I have never seen such a breathtaking sunset in my entire life.
  2. The movie was quite frankly a disappointment, as it failed to live up to the hype.
  3. I must say, your behavior at the party was quite frankly embarrassing.
  4. The proposal presented by the team was quite frankly innovative and groundbreaking.
  5. To put it quite frankly, I don’t think we have enough time to complete this project by the deadline.

What Are Other Synonyms For The Word “Honestly”?

It is important to vary your word choice with synonyms to avoid overusing certain words and terms. As we saw in our post about the phrase “A year and a half“, using the same phrases too often can be distracting for readers. Here is a list of synonyms you can use for the words “honestly” or “quite frankly” in your writing.

  • Sincerely
  • Truthfully
  • Candidly
  • Openly
  • Genuinely
  • Without reservation
  • In truth

History Of The Phrase “Quite Frankly”

Google ngram viewer for phrase quite frankly

There is a long track record of the phrase “quite frankly” being used in writing. In fact, you can see the history of this saying by analyzing Google’s ngram data below. In the early 1900’s it became a very common expression used in casual conversation and published writing.

However, the individual words “frankly” & “quite” are much older and have been used for hundreds of years. But just like we saw in our analysis of the words “Vender & Vendor“, writers need to make sure they use this saying in the proper contexts!

Phrase Breakdown

We know that the saying “quite frankly” is used to emphasize a point or make an honest statement. In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into the meaning of the individual words “quite” & “frankly”.

What Does Quite Mean?

The word “quite” is an adverb that is used to convey a high degree or extent of something. It is often synonymous with “very” or “completely.” In the context of the phrase “quite frankly,” “quite” intensifies the meaning of the following word, emphasizing the forthcoming statement as significant or important.

What Does Frankly Mean?

The word “frankly” is an adverb derived from the adjective “frank.” It means to be open, honest, and straightforward in speech or manner. This term implies a level of candor and transparency, as if the speaker is speaking their mind freely and directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is quite frankly a formal phrase?

Yes, quite frankly is a formal phrase that can be used in different formal writing contexts. In fact, this term is probably to formal to use in casual communication like text messages or emails with friends.

Is it correct to say quite frank or quite frankly?

It is correct to say quite frankly in your writing. This phrase is used to show that someone is being sincere or honest. For example, you might say “quite frankly, I was not a fan of the Beatles last album.”

Is it polite to say quite frankly?

The phrase “quite frankly” is polite to say. However, it is often used to introduce an unwelcomed or controversial statement.

Final Thoughts

By now you should have a firm understanding of the meaning and use case for the phrase “quite frankly”. It is a very popular term in the English language that is used to indicate honesty & sincerity in your writing. If you are having issues understanding this phrase or need extra writing help, consider using our very own Sentence Checking Tool to make things easy!