Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To release, as from confinement, care, or duty.
  • intransitive verb To let go; empty out.
  • intransitive verb To pour forth; emit.
  • intransitive verb To shoot.
  • intransitive verb To remove from office or employment. synonym: dismiss.
  • intransitive verb To perform the obligations or demands of (an office, duty, or task).
  • intransitive verb To comply with the terms of (a debt or promise, for example).
  • intransitive verb Law To release from debt, as in bankruptcy.
  • intransitive verb To remove (color) from cloth, as by chemical bleaching.
  • intransitive verb Electricity To cause the release of stored energy or electric charge from (a battery, for example).
  • intransitive verb To apportion (weight) evenly, as over a door.
  • intransitive verb To relieve (a part) of excess weight by distribution of pressure.
  • intransitive verb To clear the record of the loan of (a returned library book).
  • intransitive verb To relieve (a ship, for example) of a burden or of contents; unload.
  • intransitive verb To unload or empty (contents).
  • intransitive verb To go off; fire.
  • intransitive verb To pour forth, emit, or release contents.
  • intransitive verb To become blurred, as a color or dye; run.
  • intransitive verb To undergo the release of stored energy or electric charge.
  • intransitive verb To get rid of a burden, load, or weight.
  • noun The act of shooting or firing a projectile or weapon.
  • noun A flowing out or pouring forth; emission; secretion.
  • noun The amount or rate of emission or ejection.
  • noun Something that is discharged, released, emitted, or excreted.
  • noun The act or an instance of removing an obligation, burden, or responsibility.
  • noun Fulfillment of the terms of something, such as a debt or promise.
  • noun Performance, as of an office or duty.
  • noun Dismissal or release from employment, service, care, or confinement.
  • noun An official document certifying such release, especially from military service.
  • noun Release of stored energy in a capacitor by the flow of current between its terminals.
  • noun Conversion of chemical energy to electric energy in a storage battery.
  • noun A flow of electricity in a dielectric, especially in a rarefied gas.
  • noun Elimination of net electric charge from a charged body.
  • noun The act of removing a load or burden.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To unload; disburden; free from a charge or load: as, to discharge a ship by removing the cargo, a bow by releasing the arrow, a gun by firing it off, a Leyden jar by connecting its inner and outer coatings, etc.
  • To remove, emit, or transfer; clear out or off; send off or away.
  • To give vent to; cause or allow to pass off; send or throw out; emit: as, a pipe discharges water; an ulcer discharges pus; this medicine will discharge bad humors from the blood; he discharged his fury upon the nearest object.
  • To send forth by propulsion; let drive: as, to discharge a shot from a gun, or a blow upon a person's head.
  • To clear off by payment, settlement, or performance; settle up; consummate: as, to discharge a debt or an obligation.
  • To pay or settle for; satisfy a demand or an obligation for.
  • To set free; dismiss; absolve; release from accusation, restraint, obligation, duty, or service: as, to discharge a prisoner, a debtor, a jury, a servant, etc.; to discharge one's conscience of duty; to discharge the mind of business.
  • To carry on, as an obligatory course of action; perform the functions of, as an employment or office; execute; fulfil: as, to discharge the duties of a sheriff or of a priest; to discharge a trust.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English dischargen, from Old French deschargier, from Vulgar Latin *discarricāre, to unload : Latin dis-, dis- + Latin carricāre, to load; see charge.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman descharger, from Old French deschargier, from Late Latin discarricō.

Examples

  • Records Center to black out specific blocks of text regarding the nature/reason for Mr. KENT†™ s discharge from the US Navy, and any speculation on my part as to the nature of that discharge is inappropriate without additional information.

    grafton loola KENT

  • The agency that would change his discharge is the US Army Discharge

    BILLY RAY KIDWELL continued

  • Those are truly happy whom Christ doth not condemn, for his discharge is a sufficient answer to all other challenges; they are all coram non judice -- before an unauthorized judge. (b.)

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume V (Matthew to John)

  • They said that I didn't have what they call the discharge

    NPR Topics: News

  • They said that I didn't have what they call the discharge

    NPR Topics: News

  • Then let _a_ and _b_ be discharged; the discharge destroys or neutralizes all external induction, and the coatings are therefore found by the carrier ball unelectrified; but it also removes almost the whole of the forces by which the electric charge was driven into the dielectric, and though probably a part of that charge goes forward in its passage and terminates in what we call discharge, the greater portion returns on its course to the surfaces of _c_, and consequently to the conductors _a_ and _b_, and constitutes the recharge observed.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1

  • He received a similar discharge from the USMC, Camp Pendleton, CA;

    Heroes or Villains?

  • Guard even though he had received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Marine Corps.

    Heroes or Villains?

  • There is a local warm water discharge from a power plant that I fish at.

    There is a local warm water discharge from a power plant that I fish at.

  • For me less than Honorable discharge is better than the Army giving him a medical discharge.

    Heroes or Villains?

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