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

Definition of franchise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : freedom or immunity from some burden or restriction vested in a person or group
2a : a special privilege granted to an individual or group especially : the right to be and exercise the powers of a corporation
b : a constitutional or statutory right or privilege especially : the right to vote
c(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
3a : 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.
4 : 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


franchised; franchising

Definition of franchise (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : free
2 : to grant a franchise to

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Synonyms & Antonyms for franchise

Synonyms: Noun

ballot, enfranchisement, suffrage, vote

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of franchise in a Sentence


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

There's a passionate contingent of Fallout fans who consider that title one of the best of the franchise's post-Bethesda era. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Obsidian Entertainment finally announces its Fallout: New Vegas successor," 7 Dec. 2018 After enduring the psychological damage of being eliminated three years in a row by Cleveland, James’s departure was nothing less than one of the greatest moments in this franchise’s history. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "There’s a LeBron-Shaped Hole in Half of the NBA," 15 Nov. 2018 The Rams recovered and ran out the clock on their first win in the franchise's last six meetings with Minnesota. Greg Beacham, Fox News, "Rams top Vikings, 38-31, as Goff throws for 465 yards, 5 TDs," 28 Sep. 2018 Zimmerman is the figurehead, the living statue in the back of the clubhouse, the local kid who was the franchise's first hope. Chelsea Janes,, "Bryce Harper plays All-Star week host in a city he could soon be leaving," 13 July 2018 Though it all, the Cavaliers have remained largely inactive since James' departure, for the moment putting much of the franchise's future into the development of first-round pick Collin Sexton, the guard out of Alabama. Ira Winderman,, "Heat general manager reveals post-LeBron partum in comforting Cavs exec," 11 July 2018 The schedule includes one oddity: no Sunday games, for what is thought to be the first time in the franchise's history. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Three significant home stands and important finishing stretch highlight Milwaukee Admirals schedule," 11 July 2018 The Fast franchise's veteran scribe Chris Morgan is writing the script, with Deadpool 2 director David Leitch set to helm. Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter, "Idris Elba to Play Villain in Dwayne Johnson 'Fast' Spinoff," 5 July 2018 The show wasn't exactly received well by the franchise's loyal audience. Becca Smouse, azcentral, "ABC's 'Bachelor' dating spinoff 'The Proposal' is ... kind of icky," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In 2012, Jacmar Cos., which owns and franchises the chain’s U.S. locations, put a new management team in place and focused on marketing quality ingredients like fresh dough and creative toppings such as garlic shrimp. Bonnie Miller Rubin, WSJ, "They Were Huge Franchises. Why Did They Collapse?," 25 Nov. 2018 In some ways, this makes the Hotel Transylvania franchise ideal for parents who just want to plop their kids down in front of something for an hour or so, while making dinner or attending to other chores. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Hotel Transylvania’s blockbuster success, explained in one giant dog and one tiny hat," 13 July 2018 Most of top backs in the NFL make around $4 million to $6 million a year, but the Steelers just franchised Le'Veon Bell for $14.544 million for 2018. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Browns and Duke Johnson have started extension talks, per report," 11 Dec. 2017 Yet, the rafters at the team’s Canadian Tire Centre home arena are teeming with Stanley Cup banners — all commemorating the long-ago-disbanded Senators franchise that never even played there. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Reviving ‘Metropolitans’ name for NHL could work, but might want to skip that 1917 Stanley Cup banner," 15 Oct. 2018 The Dolphins raised eyebrows last week by not only franchising Landry, but doing so on the first day possible. Adam H. Beasley, miamiherald, "Does Gase want Landry back in 2018? ‘That’s why we franchised him’ | Miami Herald," 28 Feb. 2018 There were bright spots, from recognition for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to a surprise proposal that blew the entire Bachelor franchise out of the water. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "An Onstage Marriage Proposal, Mrs. Maisel Sends a Message, and More Takeaways From the 2018 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 No longer is Cousins the plucky upstart mid-round pick, who was twice franchised by an organization that didn’t believe in him. The Si Staff,, "NFL Free Agency 2018: Grading the Biggest Moves," 13 Mar. 2018 Binge-watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians or your favorite Real Housewives franchise may sound like fun, but there could be a downside. Erica Sweeney, Teen Vogue, "Wealth on TV Could Change Attitudes Toward Low-Income People, Study Finds," 6 Aug. 2018

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 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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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Statistics for franchise

Last Updated

20 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for franchise

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

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More Definitions for franchise



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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Comments on franchise

What made you want to look up franchise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of returning to life

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