One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Release from servitude.
emancipate, liberate, free, set free, release, empowerView synonyms
- ‘In 1538 the local duc affranchised the population of Thonnance and Suzanne-court by a letter of affranchisement.’
- ‘In this way we therefore pray you, gentlemen, to pass such a law which releases and affranchises the Land Company from paying the Stamp duties.’
- ‘In the mid 19th century, after the peasantry had been affranchised, a model of Heinrichshof was built by the Duke on his fields.’
- ‘The emperor Hadrian affranchised the city from aurum coronarium and recognized the right to take refuge in there.’
- ‘The battle between the recently affranchised blacks and Napoleon's forces, sent with orders to either put the blacks again into chains or to kill them - all of them if necessary - was a conflict of Armageddon dimensions.’
Late 15th century: from Old French afranchiss-, lengthened stem of afranchir, from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + franc ‘free’.
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