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

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

Skip to main content SportsPulse: The Saints and Steelers received devastating news on their franchise QBs. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Roethlisberger, Brees injuries shake up NFL playoff races, force hard look at the future," 16 Sep. 2019 There's never a definitive timeline when a franchise enters a rebuilding period. Akeem Glaspie, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Fever have young assets, hope to add No. 1 pick to accelerate rebuild," 16 Sep. 2019 Brown and Fitzpatrick merely explain how these two franchises keep chugging along in distinctly separate universes. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: And now here come the Patriots — what (more) could go wrong for Dolphins? | Commentary," 14 Sep. 2019 So why should any of us be surprised seven Bowlen kids by two marriages couldn’t even wait until their father was in the grave to begin fighting over a football franchise worth in excess of $2.5 billion? Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kickin’ It with Kiz: Collateral damage of prolonged Bowlen family feud over ownership? Broncos will sink to bottom of NFL.," 14 Sep. 2019 What is notable, though, is that Remedy may be using the opportunity to continue one of the most beloved cult classic game franchises of the modern era. Wired, "Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, Parliament Says," 13 Sep. 2019 Players would move around the board, buying up various franchises, earning money and paying rent. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A New Monopoly Celebrates Women. But What About the Game’s Own Overlooked Inventor?," 12 Sep. 2019 That’s especially true now that the star playmakers of those systems — dual-threat quarterbacks — are becoming not only more en vogue, but wildly sought-after franchise saviors. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Dual-threat quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson could be 'the future of football'," 11 Sep. 2019 But every franchise has its threshold for lenience and embarrassment, and two in the last six months reached theirs with Brown. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, "For Antonio Brown, a Rape Accusation Raises a Question of Privilege in the N.F.L.," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney is not expected to sign a long-term deal by Monday's 4 p.m. ET deadline to sign players who have been franchised, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Monday. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "Report: Jadeveon Clowney Not Expected to Sign Long-Term Contract With Texans," 15 July 2019 Gelastopoulos started franchising them 11 years ago and owns the original location, the name and menu concept. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Restaurants are a risky business: here’s how 4 beat the odds," 9 June 2019 Branch ranks third in Raiders franchise history in career receiving yards (8,685), trailing only Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Fred Biletnikoff. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Former Raiders great Cliff Branch dies at 71," 3 Aug. 2019 After all, there’s a beauty and symmetry for Bochy to ride into the sunset with one of the greatest competitors in Giants franchise history. San Francisco Chronicle, "July 31, 2019," 31 July 2019 Williams finished eighth in Heisman Trophy voting and is the highest defensive player selected in Jets franchise history. Alaa Abdeldaiem,, "Jets Agree to Four-Year Deal With No. 3 Overall Pick Quinnen Williams," 25 July 2019 Mallex Smith ended the game with a sharp grounder to second baseman Luis Rengifo, who threw to Justin Bour for the final out and the 11th no-hitter in Angels franchise history. Joe Reedy,, "Angels combine for a no-hitter, Mike Trout drives in 6 in honor of late teammate Tyler Skaggs," 13 July 2019 He was replaced by Hernandez, his Tigers teammate, who promptly allowed a two-run double to Willie McGee to set the final score at 6-1, and leave Petry with a career 54.00 All-Star ERA, worst in Tigers franchise history. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, "Here's why Detroit Tigers' All-Star Shane Greene should outperform (vintage) J.V.," 6 July 2019 New owner Elite looks to continue to open Daphne’s restaurants either initially as corporate owned or franchised owned. San Diego Union-Tribune, "After bankruptcy, 3 different owners, how Mediterranean restaurant Daphne’s has landed on its feet," 5 July 2019

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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Statistics for franchise

Last Updated

21 Sep 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

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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