1. Exemption from constraint or oppression; freedom; liberty.
2. A particular privilege conferred by grant from a sovereign or a government, and vested in individuals; an imunity or exemption from ordinary jurisdiction; a constitutional or statutory right or privilege, especially. 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. elective franchise, the privilege or right of voting in an election of public officers.
Origin: f, fr. Franc, fem. Franche, free. See frank.