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

n a statutory right or privilege granted to a person or group by a government (especially the rights of citizenship and the right to vote)

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

n an authorization to sell a company's goods or services in a particular place

Type of:
concession, grant
a contract granting the right to operate a subsidiary business

n a business established or operated under an authorization to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a particular area

Type of:
business, business concern, business organisation, business organization, concern
a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it

v grant a franchise to

Type of:
certify, licence, license
authorize officially

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