franchise noun

1 right to vote in elections

ADJ. democratic | universal the fight for a universal franchise | limited, restricted | parliamentary

VERB + FRANCHISE qualify for It was decided that all men in the armed forces should qualify for the franchise. | exercise He had to exercise the franchise on behalf of other council members. | enlarge, extend, widen After the Second World War the franchise was extended to all adults over eighteen. | restrict

2 permission to sell a company's goods/services

ADJ. catering, fast food, rail, television, etc.

VERB + FRANCHISE have, hold the company that holds the rail franchise for the south-east of the country | acquire, buy, win The company has just won a television franchise. | award (sb), give sb, grant sb The franchise was awarded to a French company. | auction, sell TV franchises will be auctioned to the highest bidder. | retain | lose The ITV licensee lost its franchise to Carlton TV.

FRANCHISE + NOUN system | business, company, operation | holder | agreement | auction, bid | fee

PREP. ~ for The diving school has acquired a franchise for scuba equipment.

PHRASES on a franchise basis Catering in the schools is run on a franchise basis.