1. Exemption from constraint or oppression; freedom; liberty. [Obs.]
2. LAw A particular privilege conferred by grant from a sovereign or a government, and vested in individuals; an immunity or exemption from ordinary jurisdiction; a constitutional or statutory right or privilege, esp. the right to vote.
Election by universal suffrage, as modified by the Constitution, is the one crowning franchise of the American people. --W. H. Seward.
3. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular privilege extends; the limits of an immunity; hence, an asylum or sanctuary.
Churches and mobasteries in Spain are franchises for criminals. --London Encyc.
4. Magnanimity; generosity; liberality; frankness; nobility. “Franchise in woman.” [Obs.]
Elective franchise, the privilege or right of voting in an election of public officers.
Fran·chise, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Franchised p. pr. & vb. n. Franchising.] To make free; to enfranchise; to give liberty to.
n 1: an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a
2: a business established or operated under an authorization to
sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a
particular area [syn: dealership]
3: a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group
by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and
the right to vote) [syn: enfranchisement]
v : grant a franchise to