from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To impose a duty, responsibility, or obligation on.
  • intransitive verb To instruct or urge authoritatively; command.
  • intransitive verb Law To instruct (a jury) about the law, its application, and the weighing of evidence.
  • intransitive verb To set or ask (a given amount) as a price.
  • intransitive verb To hold financially liable; demand payment from.
  • intransitive verb To purchase on credit.
  • intransitive verb To load to capacity; fill.
  • intransitive verb To load (a gun or other firearm) with a quantity of explosive.
  • intransitive verb To pervade or fill, as with a feeling or quality.
  • intransitive verb To make a claim of wrongdoing against; accuse or blame.
  • intransitive verb To put the blame for; attribute or impute.
  • intransitive verb To rush against in an attack.
  • intransitive verb Basketball To bump or run into (a defender) illegally while in possession of the ball or having just made a pass or shot.
  • intransitive verb Sports To bump (an opponent) so as to knock off balance or gain control of the ball, as in soccer.
  • intransitive verb Sports To body-check (an opponent) illegally, from behind or after taking more than two strides, especially in ice hockey.
  • intransitive verb To cause formation of a net electric charge on or in (a conductor, for example).
  • intransitive verb To energize (a storage battery) by passing current through it in the direction opposite to discharge.
  • intransitive verb To excite; rouse.
  • intransitive verb To direct or put (a weapon) into position for use; level or direct.
  • intransitive verb Heraldry To place a charge on (an escutcheon).
  • intransitive verb To rush forward in an attack.
  • intransitive verb To rush forward; run.
  • intransitive verb To demand or ask payment.
  • intransitive verb To make a purchase or purchases on credit.
  • intransitive verb Accounting To consider or record as a loss. Often used with off.
  • intransitive verb To become energized.
  • noun Expense; cost.
  • noun The price asked for something.
  • noun A debt or an entry in an account recording a debt.
  • noun A financial burden, such as a tax or lien.
  • noun A weight or burden; a load.
  • noun The quantity that a container or apparatus can hold.
  • noun A quantity of explosive to be set off at one time.
  • noun An assigned duty or task; a responsibility.
  • noun Care; custody.
  • noun Supervision; management: synonym: care.
  • noun One that is entrusted to another's care or management.
  • noun An order, command, or injunction.
  • noun Instruction given by a judge to a jury about the law, its application, and the weighing of evidence.
  • noun A claim of wrongdoing; an accusation.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English chargen, to load, from Old French chargier, from Late Latin carricāre, from Latin carrus, Gallic type of wagon, of Celtic origin; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English chargen, from Old French chargier, from Medieval Latin carricare ("to load"), from Latin carrus ("a car, wagon"); see car.


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  • In heraldry, any device ‘charged’ or borne upon an escutcheon; a bearing.

    Usage: Chaucers armes are not so meane, eyther for coolour, chardge, or particione as some will make them. (1599)

    February 5, 2007

  • A contranym: charge--add to and charge--take away (as a fee, from your non-plethorous, underachieving wallet).

    February 17, 2007

  • “If the Fliers are human,” Silk admonished his charges, “it would surely be evil to stone them. If they are not, you must consider that they may be higher than we are in the spiritual whorl, just as they are in the temporal.” —Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun

    July 29, 2009

  • (v.) filling a mooshine still or the thumper with beer or pumice.

    August 26, 2009