General English


  • noun a licence to trade using a brand name. Usually the franchisee pays a royalty for the use of the brand, being a percentage of sales.
  • verb to license others to use a brand name

Media Studies

  • noun a successful media product such as a film which can be developed into sequels, spin-offs and merchandising
  • noun a licence granted by the ITC, allowing a television company to broadcast within a specific area and/or for a particular length of time only


  • noun a right given to someone to do something, especially the right to vote in local or general elections.
  • noun a right given by a company to someone to trade in the company’s name in a particular area


  • noun a professional sports team that is a member of an organised league
  • noun a player who is valuable and important to a team


  • verb to sell licences for people to trade using a brand name and paying money for it

Origin & History of “franchise”

Originally, franchise meant ‘freedom’ (as it still does in French today): ‘We will for our franchise fight and for our land’, Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle 1297. Gradually, though, it became more specialized in sense, narrowing down via ‘particular legal privilege’ to (in the 18th century) ‘right to vote’. It comes from Old French franchise, a derivative of franc ‘free’ (whence English frank).