en·​fran·​chise | \ in-ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce enfranchise (audio) , en- \
enfranchised; enfranchising

Definition of enfranchise

transitive verb

1 : to set free (as from slavery)
2 : to endow with a franchise: such as
a : to admit to the privileges of a citizen and especially to the right of suffrage
b : to admit (a municipality) to political privileges or rights

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Other Words from enfranchise

enfranchisement \ in-​ˈfran-​ˌchīz-​mənt How to pronounce enfranchise (audio) , -​chəz-​ , en-​ \ noun

Examples of enfranchise in a Sentence

in a way, modern labor-saving appliances enfranchised people, giving them much more leisure time
Recent Examples on the Web The Senate Rules Committee has marked up S.1, the omnibus elections bill, after wrangling over such topics as whether states should be forced to re-enfranchise murderers (sure!) and perpetrators of crimes against children (no, not them). Walter Olson, National Review, 13 May 2021 Ultimately, Raskin argued, the question was whether to enfranchise the taxpayers of Washington, D.C. Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner, 14 Apr. 2021 This will enfranchise students who are immunocompromised or suffer from severe social anxiety and allow teaching to continue both inside and outside the traditional classroom as necessary. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, 16 Mar. 2021 Proponents pointed to last year’s elections, which set records for turnout as states emphasized mail-in voting during the pandemic, as evidence of how changing policies could enfranchise more voters. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2021 Antis feared that giving women the right to vote would enfranchise Black citizens. USA Today, 24 Aug. 2020 The question is why Republicans, particularly those schooled in McConnell’s procedural will to power, would help enfranchise people who aren’t likely to vote Republican anytime soon. Kevin Mahnken, The New Republic, 25 June 2020 While supporters have touted its ability to enfranchise Americans with disabilities and those serving overseas — both groups with dismal voting turnout — the company has largely been quiet about addressing security concerns. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 13 Feb. 2020 Local officials are fearful that enfranchising them would only bring fresh waves of migrants. Bloomberg.com, 11 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enfranchise.' 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 enfranchise

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enfranchise

Middle English, from Anglo-French enfranchiss-, stem of enfranchir, from en- + franc free — more at frank

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The first known use of enfranchise was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Enfranchise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enfranchise. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for enfranchise



English Language Learners Definition of enfranchise

formal : to give (someone) the legal right to vote


transitive verb
en·​fran·​chise | \ in-ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce enfranchise (audio) \
enfranchised; enfranchising

Legal Definition of enfranchise

: to grant franchise to especially : to admit to the privileges of a citizen and especially to voting rights the Twenty-sixth Amendment enfranchised all citizens over 18 years of age — compare emancipate

More from Merriam-Webster on enfranchise

Nglish: Translation of enfranchise for Spanish Speakers


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