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

Emrick has been a hockey broadcaster for 46 seasons, starting in 1973 when he was hired as one for the Port Huron (Michigan) franchise in the now-defunct International Hockey League. Kevin Allen, USA TODAY, "Doc Emrick to call 45th NHL Game 7 of illustrious career tonight in Bruins-Blues Stanley Cup Final," 12 June 2019 At last season’s all-star game in Washington, D.C., the Rockies tied a franchise high with three representatives: Arenado, Story and Blackmon. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Newman: The case for which Rockies deserve to make the 2019 MLB all-star game," 11 June 2019 The Raptors were primed to take down the defending champions before a raucous crowd ready to celebrate the franchise and country’s first NBA title. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Kevin Durant's legacy intact despite how he returns from major injury," 11 June 2019 GoSite has accumulated 2,000 paying clients and is servicing more than 5,000 store locations, including San Diego’s Broken Yolk franchise. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How this 32-year-old in Mission Valley created a multimillion-dollar startup," 11 June 2019 Le’Veon Bell, rather than sign a franchise tag worth $14.5 million last summer with Pittsburgh, sat out the season and in March joined the New York Jets as a free agent. Jeff Miller,, "Melvin Gordon rejoins Chargers healthy but burdened by one thing," 11 June 2019 For members of the Red Sox organization, the initial reaction to news that franchise cornerstone David Ortiz had been shot in the Dominican Republic proved similar to that felt throughout much of New England and beyond. Alex Speier,, "Red Sox brass kept their mission simple: Help David Ortiz," 10 June 2019 Ask about playing time among a group of decidedly younger tight ends, and, well, the franchise leader in catches and yards receiving doesn’t seem quite sure what to say. Schuyler Dixon, Houston Chronicle, "Cowboys’ Witten returns for another shot at the Super Bowl.," 10 June 2019 The show, which is co-hosted by fellow Marvel franchise alum Jon Favreau, featured Paltrow in an episode about a recipe for a pepperpot. Sarah Midkiff,, "Watch Gwyneth Paltrow Literally Realize She Was In Spider-Man: Homecoming," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Last year, Kaiser partnered with Xponential Fitness (which has expanded big fitness brands like Pure Barre and Club Pilates) to begin franchising AKT on a national level. NBC News, "How Anna Kaiser became the reigning queen of fitness," 5 June 2019 Since then, the company has cut costs and boosted revenue from franchising. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Yum Brands Opens Search for New CFO," 28 Jan. 2019 This season, Harden has improved all of his major advanced stats and guided Houston to franchise records in wins (smashing the old mark of 58) and offensive efficiency (currently the 7th best ever). Ben Golliver,, "2018 NBA Awards Picks: Has James Harden Finally Earned His MVP Moment?," 11 Apr. 2018 City Councilman Brad Lander introduced legislation in February that would effectively abolish at-will employment in chain restaurants—those with 30 or more locations nationwide, whether corporate-owned or franchised. Michael Lotito And Michael Saltsman, WSJ, "Burger-Flipper Arbitrators," 28 Feb. 2019 Injuries to franchise quarterback Andrew Luck didn't help in the 2015 and '16 seasons, each of which the Colts finished one game behind the division winner. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "Just how good is the AFC South?," 11 Jan. 2018 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

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

15 Jun 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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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