One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The action or an act of setting free or investing with a franchise; the state or fact of being enfranchised.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Gerard Legh (d. 1563), heraldic writer. From Middle French franchisement, Middle French, French franchissement liberation, action of setting free, exemption from an obligation from franchiss-, lengthened stem of franchir to make free + -ment. In later use perhaps partly from franchise + -ment.
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