1. A privilege or right granted by law, especially the right to vote in the election of public officials.
2. A special privilege given by government to a corporation or an individual to engage in a particular activity using public facilities, especially to provide a public service such as transportation or communications.
3. The establishment of a corporation, including the granting of certain privileges such as exemption from individual liability for the acts of the corporation.
a. Authorization granted to someone to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a certain area.
b. A business or group of businesses established or operated under such authorization.
c. A brand name under which a series of products is released.
5. The territory or limits within which immunity, a privilege, or a right may be exercised.
6. A professional sports team.
tr.v. fran·chised, fran·chis·ing, fran·chis·es
To grant a franchise to.
[Middle English fraunchise, from Old French franchise, from franche, feminine of franc, free, exempt; see FRANK1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.