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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Franchise


FRAN'CHISE, noun fran'chiz. [See Frank.] Properly, liberty, freedom. Hence,

1. A particular privilege or right granted by a prince or sovereign to an individual or to a number of persons; as the right to be a body corporate with perpetual succession; the right to hold a court leet or other court; to have waifs, wrecks, treasure-treve, or forfeitures. So the right to vote for governor, senators and representatives, is a franchise belonging to citizens, and not enjoyed by aliens. The right to establish a bank, is a franchise

2. Exemption from a burden or duty to which others are subject.

3. The district or jurisdiction to which a particular privilege extends; the limits of an immunity.

4. An asylum or sanctuary, where persons are secure from arrest.

Churches and monasteries in Spain are franchises for criminals.

FRAN'CHISE, verb transitive To make free; but enfranchise is more generally used.