franchise

noun
fran·​chise | \ ˈfran-ˌchīz \
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

franchise

verb
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

disenfranchisement

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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

Brewer’s study calculates what a college team would be worth on the open market if it could be bought and sold like a professional sports franchise. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "How Much Is Your College Football Team Worth?," 7 Jan. 2019 Free of crowds, ostentation, tracts of cookie-cutter condos and franchise mall fare like Nordstrom and Forever 21, Telluride is independent and feels that way. Alex Bhattacharji, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Telluride Keeps Being Named the Best U.S. Ski Town," 5 Dec. 2018 Because the original was such a massive success, the National Lampoon franchise awarded Randy Quaid (who plays Cousin Eddie) the starring role in Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Every Weird Thing You Never Realized About National Lampoon's 'Christmas Vacation'," 2 Dec. 2018 Christmas Vacation is the only movie in the National Lampoon Vacation franchise to get a sequel. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Every Weird Thing You Never Realized About National Lampoon's 'Christmas Vacation'," 2 Dec. 2018 The best examples, like Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy in the Star Wars franchise or Karen Traviss’ Halo novels, build on the original story in a meaningful way. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Big Damn Hero is a familiar trip back to Joss Whedon’s Firefly universe," 20 Nov. 2018 Considering the success of the previous three movies, another installment in the franchise is basically a no-brainer. Emily Wang, Glamour, "The Pitch Perfect Women Really Have Us Thinking a 4th Movie Is Happening," 1 Oct. 2018 Mark Hamill, who has played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie franchise, might be considered royalty to moviegoers and nerds alike. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Mark Hamill Wishes He Made Eye Contact When He Met Princess Margaret," 19 Sep. 2018 Best known in the U.S. for playing Blink in the X-Men franchise and appearing in advertisements for brands like Guerlain and De Beers, Fan hasn’t been seen in public since July 1 or been active on social media since late July. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Where Is Fan Bingbing?," 13 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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, SI.com, "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 The world of Prospect is grounded and subdued, more of an indie drama that just happens to take place in space than the kind of operatic adventure common to franchise science fiction. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Prospect is a stylish science fiction movie that puts world building first," 31 Oct. 2018 With the Honda deal, Cruise is seeking to take this basic framework and franchise it. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "GM’s self-driving deal with Honda is a wakeup call for Waymo," 4 Oct. 2018 The partners have plans to franchise the concept and open up similar centers across the country. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "To Help Alzheimer’s Patients, a Care Center Re-Creates the 1950s," 18 Sep. 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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

14 Jan 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

franchise

noun

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

sports : a team that is a member of a professional sports league

franchise

verb

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

franchise

noun
fran·​chise | \ ˈfran-ˌchīz \

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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