franchise

A franchise is a right granted by a government or corporation to an individual or group of individuals. One of the most important government-issued rights — so important it's known simply as "the franchise" — is the right to vote.

In its more commercial meaning, the fast-food chain McDonalds is a franchise. So are Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken and the New York Yankees. In other words, businesses from which you can buy a license in order to sell or use their products. More recently, the term has come to have an intellectual meaning as well, as in a particular series of books or films, such as the Harry Potter franchise.

Definitions of franchise
  1. noun
    a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)
    synonyms: enfranchisement
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    types:
    right to vote, suffrage, vote
    a legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US Constitution; guaranteed to women by the 19th amendment
    universal suffrage
    suffrage for all adults who are not disqualified by the laws of the country
    type of:
    legal right
    a right based in law
  2. noun
    an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a particular place
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    type of:
    concession, grant
    a contract granting the right to operate a subsidiary business
  3. noun
    a business established or operated under an authorization to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a particular area
    synonyms: dealership
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    type of:
    business, business concern, business organisation, business organization, concern
    a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it
  4. verb
    grant a franchise to
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    type of:
    certify, licence, license
    authorize officially
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