Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A privilege or right officially granted a person or a group by a government, especially:
  • n. The constitutional or statutory right to vote.
  • n. The establishment of a corporation's existence.
  • n. The granting of certain rights and powers to a corporation.
  • n. Legal immunity from servitude, certain burdens, or other restrictions.
  • n. Authorization granted to someone to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a certain area.
  • n. A business or group of businesses established or operated under such authorization.
  • n. A brand name under which a series of products is released.
  • n. The territory or limits within which immunity, a privilege, or a right may be exercised.
  • n. A professional sports team.
  • transitive v. To grant a franchise to.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A right or privilege officially granted to a person, a group of people, or a company by a government.
  • n. An acknowledgment of a corporation's existence and ownership.
  • n. The authorization granted by a company to sell or distribute its goods or services in a certain area.
  • n. A business operating under such authorization.
  • n. A legal exemption from jurisdiction.
  • n. The membership of a corporation or state; citizenship.
  • n. The right to vote at a public election.
  • n. The collection of organizations in the history of a sports team; the tradition of a sports team as an entity, extending beyond the contemporary organization.
  • n. The positive influence on the buying behavior of customers exerted by the reputation of a company or a brand.
  • n. The loose collection of fictional works pertaining to a particular universe, including literary, film, or television series from various sources.
  • n. Magnanimity; generosity; liberality; frankness; nobility.
  • v. To confer certain powers on; grant a franchise to; authorize.
  • v. To set free; invest with a franchise or privilege; enfranchise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Exemption from constraint or oppression; freedom; liberty.
  • n. A particular privilege conferred by grant from a sovereign or a government, and vested in individuals; an immunity or exemption from ordinary jurisdiction; a constitutional or statutory right or privilege, esp. the right to vote.
  • n. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular privilege extends; the limits of an immunity; hence, an asylum or sanctuary.
  • n. Magnanimity; generosity; liberality; frankness; nobility.
  • transitive v. To make free; to enfranchise; to give liberty to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make free; enfranchise.
  • n. Liberty; freedom from constraint or subjection; independence; enfranchisement.
  • n. A privilege arising from the grant of a sovereign or government, or from prescription, which presupposes a grant; a privilege of a public nature conferred on individuals by grant from government: as, a corporate franchise (the right to be and act as a corporation).
  • n. Specifically, the privilege of voting at public elections; the right of suffrage: distinctively called the elective franchise.
  • n. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular individual or corporate privilege extends; the limits of an immunity.
  • n. An asylum or sanctuary where persons are secure from arrest.
  • n. Nobility of spirit; generosity; highmindedness; magnanimity; liberality.
  • n. A privilege or grant extended by a municipal corporation to a private corporation or person, as the right to maintain a street-railway, to use streets for water- or gas-mains, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)
  • v. grant a franchise to
  • n. an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a particular place
  • n. a business established or operated under an authorization to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a particular area

Etymologies

Middle English fraunchise, from Old French franchise, from franche, feminine of franc, free, exempt; see frank1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French franchise ("freedom"), a derivative of franc ("free"). More at frank. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English franchisen, fraunchisen, from Old French franchir (stem franchiss-, "to set free"), from franc ("free"). More at frank. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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