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[fran-chahyz] /ˈfræn tʃaɪz/
a privilege of a public nature conferred on an individual, group, or company by a government:
a franchise to operate a bus system.
the right or license granted by a company to an individual or group to market its products or services in a specific territory.
a store, restaurant, or other business operating under such a license.
the territory over which such a license extends.
the right to vote:
to guarantee the franchise of every citizen.
a privilege arising from the grant of a sovereign or government, or from prescription, which presupposes a grant.
  1. the right to own or operate a professional sports team as a member of a league.
  2. a professional sports team.
  3. a player of great talent or popular appeal, considered vitally important to a team's success or future.
a set of creative works and related merchandise that share a fictional world, as films, television shows, books, or games: the Star Wars franchise;
the Pokémon franchise.
a legal immunity or exemption from a particular burden, exaction, or the like.
Obsolete. freedom, especially from imprisonment, servitude, or moral restraint.
verb (used with object), franchised, franchising.
to grant (an individual, company, etc.) a franchise:
The corporation has just franchised our local dealer.
Origin of franchise
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French, derivative of franc free. See frank1
Related forms
franchisable, adjective
franchisability, noun
[fran-chahyz-muh nt, -chiz-] /ˈfræn tʃaɪz mənt, -tʃɪz-/ (Show IPA),
overfranchised, adjective
subfranchise, noun, verb (used with object), subfranchised, subfranchising.
unfranchised, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for franchisable


the franchise, the right to vote, esp for representatives in a legislative body; suffrage
any exemption, privilege, or right granted to an individual or group by a public authority, such as the right to use public property for a business
(commerce) authorization granted by a manufacturing enterprise to a distributor to market the manufacturer's products
the full rights of citizenship
(films) a film that is or has the potential to be part of a series and lends itself to merchandising
(in marine insurance) a sum or percentage stated in a policy, below which the insurer disclaims all liability
(transitive) (commerce, mainly US & Canadian) to grant (a person, firm, etc) a franchise
an obsolete word for enfranchise
Derived Forms
franchisee, noun
franchiser, noun
franchisement (ˈfræntʃɪzmənt) noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from franchir to set free, from franc free; see frank
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
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Word Origin and History for franchisable



late 13c., from Old French franchise "freedom, exemption; right, privilege" (12c.), from variant stem of franc "free" (see frank (adj.)). Sense narrowed 18c. to "particular legal privilege," then "right to vote" (1790). Meaning "authorization by a company to sell its products or services" is from 1959.



late 14c., from Old French franchiss-, past participle stem of franchir "to free" (12c.), from franc (see frank (adj.)). Franchising is from 1570s; the commercial licensing sense is from 1966. Related: Franchisee; franchiser; franchisor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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franchisable in Culture

franchise definition

In politics, the right to vote. The Constitution left the determination of the qualifications of voters to the states. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, states usually restricted the franchise to white men who owned specified amounts of property. Gradually, poll taxes were substituted for property requirements. Before the Civil War, the voting rights of blacks were severely restricted, but the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, declared ratified in 1870, prohibited states from abridging the right to vote on the basis of race. Nevertheless, southern states used a variety of legal ploys to restrict black voting until passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Women were not guaranteed the right to vote in federal elections until ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. In 1971 the Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. (See suffrage and suffragette.)

Note: Losing the right to vote, called disfranchisement, is most commonly caused by failing to reregister, a procedure that is required every time a person changes residence.

franchise definition

In business, a relationship between a manufacturer and a retailer in which the manufacturer provides the product, sales techniques, and other kinds of managerial assistance, and the retailer promises to market the manufacturer's product rather than that of competitors. For example, most automobile dealerships are franchises. The vast majority of fast food chains are also run on the franchise principle, with the retailer paying to use the brand name.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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