fran·​chise | \ ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce franchise (audio) \
plural franchises

Definition of franchise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the right or license granted to an individual or group to market a company's goods or services in a particular territory also : a business granted such a right or license just opened a new fast-food franchise down the street
(2) : the territory involved in such a right
b : a constitutional or statutory right or privilege especially : the right to vote
c : a special privilege granted to an individual or group especially : the right to be and exercise the powers of a corporation
2a : the right of membership in a professional sports league
b : a team and its operating organization having such membership He's the best player in the history of the franchise.
3 : a series of related works (such as novels or films) each of which includes the same characters or different characters that are understood to exist and interact in the same fictional universe with characters from the other works The main reason we all keep going back to the "Mission: Impossible" franchise is the stunts, of course. Watching Ethan Hunt as he scales mountains, jumps onto planes and dangles from skyscrapers fills us with eye-rolling delight.— Randy Myers Rowling's seven Harry Potter novels sold more than 500 million copies. Its respective film franchise drummed up over $7 billion at the box office.— Dory Jackson
4 : freedom or immunity from some burden or restriction vested in a person or group


franchised; franchising

Definition of franchise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grant a franchise to
2 archaic : free

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Synonyms & Antonyms for franchise

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of franchise in a Sentence

Noun She was granted an exclusive franchise in the city's west end. They just opened a new fast-food franchise down the street. The U.S. did not extend the franchise to women until the early 20th century. He's the best player in the history of the franchise.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Carlson finished the season with a franchise-record 144 points and tied for the NFL scoring lead for the 2020 campaign. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Auburn NFL roundup: Cam Newton does it all for Patriots," 4 Jan. 2021 Buffalo won 13 games, tying a team high set in 1990 and matched in ’91, and finished with a franchise-record 501 points scored. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "NFL playoffs: At long last the Cleveland Browns are back in the postseason," 3 Jan. 2021 Metcalf set new franchise single-season record for receiving yards. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks stage fourth-quarter rally to defeat the San Francisco 49ers: Live updates recap, score, stats and more," 3 Jan. 2021 Entering his fourth season in Detroit, with a franchise that is embracing a youth movement, Griffin has had to transition from high-flying phenom to locker room sage, while still being expected to deliver All-N.B.A. performances. New York Times, "Blake Griffin: Thriving Away From the Rim and Feeling ‘Ancient’," 2 Jan. 2021 The Ravens do not have a replacement punter on the practice squad for Koch, who has played a franchise-record 239 games and has yet to miss a game in his 15-year career. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Ravens place punter Sam Koch on reserve/COVID-19 list ahead of regular-season finale vs. Bengals," 30 Dec. 2020 When Bravo reality television star Lia Dias expanded her Girl Cave LA brand to the Dallas area, two women became first-time business owners with the new franchise in DeSoto, which opened in October. Emily Dunn, Dallas News, "The biggest stories from DeSoto you might have missed in 2020," 30 Dec. 2020 Tagovailoa’s role as a game manager for the playoff-contending Dolphins is certainly not an indictment on his potential or future with the franchise. Safid Deen,, "With powerful defense, Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t had to be flashy during Dolphins’ playoff push," 24 Dec. 2020 If the 49ers had won the final game of the 2019 season, Garoppolo, with a title on his resume, would be more likely to remain with the franchise next season. Eric Branch,, "How 49ers’ finish could determine Jimmy Garoppolo’s employer in 2021," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The duo partnered with Fransmart to franchise the business across the United States, and nearly 50 restaurants are being developed right now. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Indian food franchise Curry Up Now moves into North Texas," 16 Nov. 2020 Anthony Davis racked up 19 points, including a crucial last-minute bucket, 15 rebounds, 3 assists in Game 6, bringing the Lakers franchise its seventeenth title in its storied history. Justin Carissimo, CBS News, "Los Angeles Lakers win NBA Finals; LeBron James secures his fourth championship," 12 Oct. 2020 Prescott doesn’t have a contract for 2021 and the Cowboys could possibly franchise him for $37.6 million or try to extend him for a much lower contract. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "5 thoughts from Cowboys-Giants: Dallas survives, but Dak Prescott’s injury changes the entire 2020 season," 11 Oct. 2020 Ten years ago, Kim scrapped her plans to franchise a Jimmy John's and opened her own shop — Pizzeria Lola. CBS News, "How Minneapolis chef Ann Kim is forging ahead with her new restaurant plans," 1 Sep. 2020 Lafrenière would infuse high-end talent, fresh legs and excitement to franchise that has slipped in recent years. Jimmy Hascup, USA TODAY, "NHL draft lottery: Ranking the eight teams 1-8 in terms of who is least deserving of No. 1 pick," 10 Aug. 2020 But running back isn’t nearly as loaded for the draft, and with his performance last season — particularly in leading the Titans to the AFC title game — Derrick Henry should be at the top of many lists if Tennessee doesn’t franchise him. Barry Wilner, The Denver Post, "Tom Brady uncertainty overshadows other NFL free agency options," 10 Mar. 2020 But beyond that, the company is implementing enough new procedures to fill a 59-page playbook being distributed to franchise owners to prepare them for reopening. cleveland, "McDonald’s not ready to reopen dining rooms in Ohio just yet," 22 May 2020 The team is still planning to franchise tag Green if a long-term deal isn’t reached before March 10. Tyler Dragon,, "Bengals notebook: Team wants to sign A.J. Green and Joe Mixon to extensions," 27 Feb. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for franchise

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from franchir to free, from franc free — more at frank

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Time Traveler for franchise

Time Traveler

The first known use of franchise was in the 14th century

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Statistics for franchise

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Franchise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for franchise


How to pronounce franchise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of franchise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the right to sell a company's goods or services in a particular area also : a business that is given such a right
: the right to vote
US, sports : a team that is a member of a professional sports league



English Language Learners Definition of franchise (Entry 2 of 2)

: to offer the right to sell (your company's goods or services) in a particular area


fran·​chise | \ ˈfran-ˌchīz How to pronounce franchise (audio) \

Legal Definition of franchise

1 : a special right or privilege granted by the government to an individual, group, or business entity: as
a : a right to conduct a business and especially to be and to exercise the powers of a corporation
b : a right granted to a public utility company to provide services and to use public land for that purpose
2 : a constitutional or statutory right especially : the right to vote used with the restricting them in employment, education, the franchise, legal personality, and public accommodation — W. H. Burns
3 : a right or license that is granted to an individual or group to market a company's goods or services in a particular territory under the company's trademark, trade name, or service mark and that often involves the use of rules and procedures designed by the company and services (as advertising) and facilities provided by the company in return for fees, royalties, or other compensation also : a business granted such a right or license ran a fast-food franchise
4a : an amount of liability (as a percentage or sum) specified in an insurance contract below which an insurer disclaims liability and above which the insurer assumes total liability — compare deductible
b : group insurance covering fewer than the minimum number of participants required by law for such coverage

History and Etymology for franchise

Anglo-French, literally, freedom, liberty, from Middle French, from franchir to free, from Old French franc free

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