If you use WordPress to power your site and not familiar with the word Framework, then you should be familiar with themes. And if you are not then I’d consider you a WordPress newbie. Whichever way this post is for you.
Creating websites have come of age, to have an idea of the different platforms you can apply to build and manage one; then I’ll refer you to my earlier post 
I build sites with WordPress, strictly WordPress if may add though I do have a fairly good knowledge of Joomla and Drupal.
I won’t believe you are a website newbie; not after reading my post discussed earlier. WordPress is a CMS which presents two basic definitive ground: Design and Functionality.
I’d like to dwell more on the first – Design
Design for any website or form of web platform consist mostly of HTML, CSS and other programming languages. That wouldn’t be a major discussion here.
Originally the way WordPress works, the feel and look of your site dwells in the theme. The theme is akin to the Design Management System, issues like colour, image positioning, and general display are taken care of by your theme.
The functional area determines how powerful and useful your site could be. In WordPress, aside the core functionality built into it. Extra features are added through the use of Plugins.
Although there is no clear-cut line between the two, because plugins are also used to handle designs while themes could also be prebuilt with dedicated and extremely powerful features.

FRAMEWORKS AND THEMES

By now, you are aware themes handle design. The question is how; permit me to replace the word ‘theme’ with template so you understand what I want to say better. A template gives you a pre-built structure and layout, all you need do is to insert your content and image. Now what happens if you want to modify the template or theme rather, it means soiling your hands with HTML and CSS brouhaha. I’m sure a good number of folks are scared of that.
Someone designs, you insert your content, I couldn’t have explained it better.

Welcome to Frameworks

A framework is an advance theme platform, its like a launchpad for your theme. What I’m saying in essence is this: you can enhance your theme, re-write the CSS and still get core update from the theme developer. Something like residing with the parent and presenting the child. Which means with a framework, your theme becomes a child-theme while your framework is the parent theme.
That’s what a framework do and there are a couple of them. At this stage; I think I rather grab a cup of coffee.

Most of the times, Zion peers at the computer screen, tweaking codes, analysing and calculating figures, manipulating the screen and digging deep into the World Wide Web. A combination of many different things in one thing. You don’t have to bother understanding that. Simply focus on why you are on this page.