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enfranchise

[en-fran-chahyz]
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verb (used with object), en·fran·chised, en·fran·chis·ing.
  1. to grant a franchise to; admit to citizenship, especially to the right of voting.
  2. to endow (a city, constituency, etc.) with municipal or parliamentary rights.
  3. to set free; liberate, as from slavery.
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Also franchise.

Origin of enfranchise

1505–15; < Middle French, Old French enfranchiss- (long stem of enfranchir to free), equivalent to en- en-1 + franch- free (see frank1) + iss- -ish2
Related formsen·fran·chise·ment [en-fran-chahyz-muh nt, -chiz-] /ɛnˈfræn tʃaɪz mənt, -tʃɪz-/, nounen·fran·chis·er, nounun·en·fran·chised, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for enfranchise

enfranchise

verb (tr)
  1. to grant the power of voting to, esp as a right of citizenship
  2. to liberate, as from servitude
  3. (in England) to invest (a town, city, etc) with the right to be represented in Parliament
  4. English law to convert (leasehold) to freehold
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Derived Formsenfranchisement, nounenfranchiser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for enfranchise

v.

early 15c., "to set free," from Old French enfranchiss-, present participle stem of enfranchir "to set or make free; grant a franchise to;" from en- "make, put in" (see en- (1)) + franc "free" (see franchise).

Meaning "to admit to membership in a state" (generally with reference to voting privileges) is from 1680s. Related: Enfranchised; enfranchisement.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper