1) n. a right granted by the government to a person or corporation, such as a taxi permit, bus route, an airline's use of a public airport, business license or corporate existence. 2) n. the right to vote in a public election. 3) v. to grant (for a periodic fee or share of profits) the right to operate a business or sell goods or services under a brand or chain name. Well-known franchise operations include McDonald's, Holiday Inns, Ace Hardware, Rexall Drug Stores, and Amway Distributors. 4) n. the right one has to operate a store or sell goods or services under a franchise agreement, as in "we have the Taco Bell franchise in our town." 5) adj. referring to a "franchise tax" which is placed on businesses (especially corporations) for the right to conduct business, as distinguished from a tax on property, income or profits tax.