disenfranchise

verb
dis·​en·​fran·​chise | \ ˌdis-in-ˈfran-ˌchīz \
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 \ -​ˌchīz-​mənt , -​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

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 Already pending before the justices is a ruling from a special federal court in North Carolina, which found that state’s congressional map an unconstitutional gerrymander drawn by majority Republicans to disenfranchise Democrats. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Maryland to Appeal Gerrymandering Ruling, Setting Up New Supreme Court Battle," 15 Nov. 2018 In October, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of conservative voter laws that reportedly disenfranchised any voter without a street address, which includes any indigenous person living on a designated native reservation. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Three States Approved Legal Marijuana During Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 That could potentially disenfranchise thousands of voters on the state’s five reservations, according to the tribes. Blake Nicholson, The Seattle Times, "In North Dakota, tribes scramble to clear voter ID hurdle," 26 Oct. 2018 But at the same time, there's a power to that for someone who's really marginalized or disenfranchised in another way. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Miranda July Talks #MeToo, Tech, and Joanie4Jackie," 16 Oct. 2018 With the stroke of a pen and not a nickel of expense, a write-in candidate — no write-in has ever won a Florida election — can disenfranchise every voter except those in the one party. Lauren Ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Constitutional Revision Commission elites preserve write-in scam that keeps many from voting," 27 Apr. 2018 Historically, East Austin residents have been disenfranchised in every way by people in positions of power. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "How bike advocate Katie Deolloz gets around Austin," 19 Oct. 2018 The state’s brief noted that Walker, in his Feb. 1 order, acknowledged that states have the power to pass laws that disenfranchise convicted felons by permanently stripping their right to vote. Steve Bousquet, miamiherald, "Scott and Cabinet want sole power to change felon voting rights | Miami Herald," 12 Feb. 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

9 Jan 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 \
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 \
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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