disenfranchise

verb
dis·​en·​fran·​chise | \ ˌdis-in-ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce disenfranchise (audio) \
disenfranchised; disenfranchising; disenfranchises

Definition of disenfranchise

transitive verb

: to deprive of a franchise, of a legal right, or of some privilege or immunity especially : to deprive of the right to vote disenfranchising the poor and elderly

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Other Words from disenfranchise

disenfranchisement \ ˌdis-​in-​ˈfran-​ˌchīz-​mənt How to pronounce disenfranchisement (audio) , -​chəz-​ \ noun

What Does It Mean to Disenfranchise Someone?

Disenfranchise first appeared in English in the 17th century, preceded for a period of some 200 years by the now uncommon word disfranchise. Though both words are, rather obviously, related to franchise, they have nothing to do with that word’s current sense “a team that is a member of a professional sports league." The original meaning of franchise was “freedom from servitude or restraint.” Although disenfranchise does broadly signify depriving someone of any of a number of legal rights, it is most often used today of withholding the right to vote, or of the diminished social or political status of a marginalized group.

Examples of disenfranchise in a Sentence

They disenfranchised poor people by making property ownership a requirement for registering to vote.

Recent Examples on the Web

By disenfranchising black voters, white segregationists simultaneously enshrined one-party Democratic rule in the South. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Just Legitimized a Cornerstone Element of Voter Suppression," 3 July 2019 The same study found that one in 13 African-Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate more than four times greater than that of non-African-Americans. Washington Post, "Data back up AP poll: Little progress on civil rights issues," 4 Apr. 2018 The shadows of this authoritarian agenda, designed to exploit, disenfranchise, and repress non-white lives, still loom heavily over the country and global perceptions of it. Cassidy George, Vogue, "Meet Thebe Magugu, the Designer at the Heart of South Africa’s Cultural Renaissance," 20 May 2019 Critics say the closures will disenfranchise black voters ahead of an election in which a black candidate is running for governor for the first time. Kate Brumback, The Seattle Times, "Plan to close polling places in black county draws backlash," 21 Aug. 2018 That decision effectively disenfranchised more than 1 million of Congo’s 40 million registered voters and has sparked violent protests, including the storming of an Ebola treatment center that sent patients fleeing. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Congo Votes in Contentious Election," 30 Dec. 2018 They have been opposed by Democrats who contend such laws can disenfranchise poor, elderly, disabled and minority voters who are less likely to have photo IDs. David A. Lieb, The Seattle Times, "Judge blocks portions of Missouri voter photo ID law," 9 Oct. 2018 Trump blamed those longtime GOP policies for disenfranchising the middle class through bad trade deals and support for freer immigration. NBC News, "McConnell's legacy built on winning fights, not friends," 12 June 2018 Identity politics has done more to disenfranchise individual thought, erode effective civil discourse and encourage hate than, perhaps, any other single recent factor in American society. WSJ, "Identity Politics Pollutes Ballet and Football," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disenfranchise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of disenfranchise

1664, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for disenfranchise

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disenfranchise

The first known use of disenfranchise was in 1664

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More Definitions for disenfranchise

disenfranchise

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disenfranchise

: to prevent (a person or group of people) from having the right to vote

disenfranchise

verb
dis·​en·​fran·​chise | \ ˌdi-sᵊn-ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce disenfranchise (audio) \
disenfranchised; disenfranchising

Kids Definition of disenfranchise

: to deprive of the right to vote

Other Words from disenfranchise

disenfranchisement \ -​ˈfran-​ˌchīz-​mənt \ noun

disenfranchise

transitive verb
dis·​en·​fran·​chise | \ ˌdis-ᵊn-ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce disenfranchise (audio) \
disenfranchised; disenfranchising

Legal Definition of disenfranchise

Other Words from disenfranchise

disenfranchisement noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disenfranchise

Spanish Central: Translation of disenfranchise

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