Definition of enfranchise in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈfranˌCHīz/
Pronunciation: /enˈfranˌCHīz/


[with object]
1Give the right to vote to: a proposal that foreigners should be enfranchised for local elections
More example sentences
  • After 1860, the trend across Europe was to widen the male electorate and enfranchise women for local elections.
  • They will not suddenly enfranchise women, hold elections and step aside from power.
  • Women over 30 were enfranchised in 1918; and women over 21 received the vote in 1928.
give the vote to, give suffrage to, grant suffrage to
1.1 historical Free (a slave).
Example sentences
  • All these raised themselves from humble origins to be powerful rulers simply by enfranchising the slaves who joined them.…
  • For Stowe, this French colonial tendency to enfranchise mixed-race slaves went hand-in-hand with the history of French slave rebellion.
  • A quarter of a million slaves were liberated and enfranchised in the Caribbean, while a new port settlement was also established in 1849 at Libreville in the Gabon for former slaves.
emancipate, liberate, free, set free, release;
unchain, unyoke, unfetter, unshackle


Late Middle English (formerly also as infranchise): from Old French enfranchiss-, lengthened stem of enfranchir, from en- (expressing a change of state) + franc, franche 'free'.

  • emancipate from early 17th century:

    The word emancipate is from Latin emancipare ‘transfer as property’, from e- (a variant of ex-) ‘out’ and mancipium ‘slave’. In Roman law it was the setting free of a child or wife from the power of the pater familias, the head of the household, a sense found in the 20th century in the campaigns for the emancipation of women. Enfranchise (Late Middle English) has a similar history coming from French enfranchir from franc ‘free’, also the source of frank (Middle English). In early medieval France only the conquering Franks (who also gave their name to the country) were fully free. Franchise (Middle English), originally legal immunity, comes from the same source.

Words that rhyme with enfranchise

affranchise, franchise

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: en·fran·chise

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