Definition of enfranchise in English:



[with object]
  • 1Give the right to vote to.

    ‘a proposal that foreigners should be enfranchised for local elections’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They must also explain their policies to the Hispanics who are enfranchised.’
    • ‘Roman voters didn't want to enfranchise the Italians either, because it would water down their own votes.’
    • ‘As if aware that their vote made little difference, more than half of the 3 million enfranchised Hong Kong people stayed away from polling stations.’
    • ‘Neither the religion nor the region will be the same if women are enfranchised and empowered.’
    • ‘Their influence was enhanced by the new constitution promulgated in 1779-the first and only one in Italy - which created local assemblies of landed proprietors but did not enfranchise the mass of the population.’
    • ‘The property qualification for voting was abolished and women were enfranchised in 1893.’
    • ‘After women were enfranchised, women's political organisations such as the New South Wales based Women's Political Education League established classes in speaking and debating and ran schools for citizenship.’
    • ‘Only males aged 21 or older who owned, leased, or rented a freehold estate or dwelling above a specified value were enfranchised under the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852.’
    • ‘One reason may have been the passage in 1965 of the Voting Rights Act, which quickly and effectively enfranchised Southern blacks who had been barred from the polls for many years.’
    • ‘White women of British origin were newly enfranchised; their goals were equal rights, higher education and jobs in the new helping professions.’
    • ‘Indeed only he believed that women should be enfranchised at this time.’
    • ‘Women and slaves were not given the vote and qualifications limited the number of men enfranchised.’
    • ‘We need your passion to ensure that a free Iraq enfranchises all its peoples, that there is an Iraq in which the state is constrained by law and that works for its citizens.’
    • ‘But this did not prevent the NSW parliament enfranchising women in that same year.’
    give voting rights to, give the vote to, give suffrage to, grant suffrage to, grant franchise to
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    1. 1.1historical Give (a town) the right to be represented in Parliament.
      ‘The Reform Act of 1832 eliminated many anomalies, and enfranchised the new industrial towns, which had hitherto been unrepresented.’
  • 2historical Free (a slave).

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the eleventh century, many slaves were enfranchised, the greater part of whom settled in cities.’
    • ‘Through the Civil War, Sumner and Wilson strongly supported the military, and pushed President Abraham Lincoln to emancipate and enfranchise the slaves.’
    emancipate, liberate, free, set free, release, empower
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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’.



/ɪnˈfran(t)ʃʌɪz/ /ɛnˈfran(t)ʃʌɪz/