[ fran-chahyz ]
/ ˈfræn tʃaɪz /
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See synonyms for: franchise / franchised / franchising on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), fran·chised, fran·chis·ing.
to grant (an individual, company, etc.) a franchise: The corporation has just franchised our local dealer.
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Origin of franchise

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Old French, derivative of franc “free”; see frank1


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use franchise in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for franchise

/ (ˈfræntʃaɪz) /

(tr) commerce, mainly US and Canadian to grant (a person, firm, etc) a franchise
an obsolete word for enfranchise

Derived forms of franchise

franchisee, nounfranchiser, nounfranchisement (ˈfræntʃɪzmənt), noun

Word Origin for franchise

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

Cultural definitions for franchise (1 of 2)


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.)

notes for franchise

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.

Cultural definitions for franchise (2 of 2)


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.