Definition of plain-speaking in English:


(also plain speaking)


  • Talking in a frank, outspoken, or blunt manner.

    ‘a plain-speaking Texan whose words are to be taken at face value’
    • ‘Ranging from the abusive to the witty to the plain-speaking, the e-mails flooded in from all parts of the States.’
    • ‘The plain-speaking, aggressive, edgy 42-year-old will without a doubt make federal politics more interesting.’
    • ‘Plain-speaking, he will be even more frank than usual.’
    • ‘Sometimes I dream of having a leader who has simple wisdom and the ordinary values of plain-speaking honesty and guileless good will.’
    • ‘As the international development secretary she was liked for being feisty and plain-speaking.’
    • ‘The plain-speaking wicketkeeper also ruled out taking up cricket commentary after retirement.’
    • ‘His plain-speaking discussion of his days as a POW seemed to captivate both the crowd and the TV reporters.’
    • ‘Those who know him describe him as a plain-speaking soldiers' soldier.’
    • ‘He presents himself as a downright, plain-speaking common man who nevertheless is compassionate towards the follies and sufferings of humankind.’
    • ‘"They were acting out of spitefulness and hatred", said the plain-speaking Archbishop in an interview with our reporter.’


  • Directness of speech; frankness.

    ‘they have lost the art of plain speaking’
    • ‘Others of us are willing to engage in plain speaking.’
    • ‘The plain speaking that has caused friction in cabinet is admired.’
    • ‘O'Dwyer is chairman of the football board and a man given to plain speaking.’
    • ‘But he easily outclassed him in argument and plain speaking.’
    • ‘We were impressed by his plain speaking.’
    • ‘Well, sir, here's to plain speaking and clear understanding.’
    • ‘She's prone to plain speaking and abhors hype, so she's admittedly uncomfortable with self-promotion.’
    • ‘His plain speaking is drenched with truth and harms nobody but the guilty.’
    • ‘Their politics were radically different, but each man believed plain speaking was essential to a democracy because it was the only way to tell the truth.’
    • ‘Plain speaking, he argued, was necessary now: Communication should be direct, and anything that might create confusion should be eschewed.’