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

Synonyms & Antonyms for franchise

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Did you know?

Franchise was voted into early 14th-century English as both a noun and verb. It is from the Anglo-French verb franchir, meaning "to free," itself from franc, "free." To be perfectly frank, the word franchise is most often encountered today with reference to restaurant chains or professional sports teams (e.g., "a franchise quarterback"), not to mention branded retail stores and sequel-driven movies and novels. These commercial meanings are far from the original meaning of the word in English: "freedom or immunity from some burden or restriction vested in a person or group." This meaning evolved into the "right to vote" sense of the word.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kenya is a bastion of relative stability and economic strength in East Africa, a U.S. ally in the fight against al Qaeda’s al-Shabaab franchise in Somalia and a base for Alphabet, Inc., Microsoft Corp. and other major companies. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 Just short of half a century, the epic Star Wars franchise was born in a galaxy far, far away. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2022 Walton's group paid the highest price in history for a sports franchise anywhere in the world. Dave Campbell, ajc, 9 Aug. 2022 The drugmaker said Monday that the sickle cell disease franchise of Global Blood Therapeutics, which includes treatments still in development, could eventually reach worldwide peak sales of more than $3 billion. Tom Murphy And Michelle Chapman, Chicago Tribune, 8 Aug. 2022 Bergeron is fourth on the Original Six franchise’s all-time scoring list with 982 points, and Krejci is ninth with 730. Jimmy Golen, Hartford Courant, 8 Aug. 2022 Even the iconic, franchise-defining moments the Mets had against the Braves eventually yielded disappointment. Jerry Beach, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 Johnson's first major franchise since Fifty Shades of Grey. Amethyst Tate, Peoplemag, 8 Aug. 2022 Despite the constant outside noise surrounding the franchise, Crouse is grateful for the organization and is aligned with the future. The Arizona Republic, 8 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lew and co-owner Tommy Charoen are making moves to franchise Rooster & Rice, and plan to expand the menu in the future. Megha Mcswain, Chron, 13 July 2022 One thing solopreneurs can do is to look for an existing brand that is willing to franchise. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 21 June 2022 More surprising than the Jaguars’ shopping spree in free agency might have been the decision to franchise tag LT Cam Robinson. Brad Biggs,, 3 Apr. 2022 The Jags might have quietly altered the top of this draft after opting to franchise LT Cam Robinson for the second straight year. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2022 The couple plans to franchise Nourish + Bloom Markets around the country, hoping to reach a goal of 800 stores in total. Aliyah Thomas, ABC News, 26 Jan. 2022 This will be another attempt to franchise the business, which got its start at 14933 S. Pulaski Road in Midlothian. Bob Bong,, 12 Jan. 2022 The Browns have Mayfield for this year, and then can franchise tag him in future years. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, 16 Jan. 2022 The Patriots could franchise tag Jackson, pushing his free agency to 2023 by offering him a guaranteed one-year contract projected to be worth $17.3 million., 16 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near franchise



franchise bond

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Statistics for franchise

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Franchise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for franchise


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

More from Merriam-Webster on franchise

Nglish: Translation of franchise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of franchise for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about franchise


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