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 \ -​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

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 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

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

6 Mar 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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