Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To relieve of a burden or of contents; unload.
  • transitive v. To unload or empty (contents).
  • transitive v. To release, as from confinement, care, or duty: discharge a patient; discharge a soldier.
  • transitive v. To let go; empty out: a train discharging commuters.
  • transitive v. To pour forth; emit: a vent discharging steam.
  • transitive v. To shoot: discharge a pistol.
  • transitive v. To remove from office or employment. See Synonyms at dismiss.
  • transitive v. To perform the obligations or demands of (an office, duty, or task). See Synonyms at perform.
  • transitive v. To comply with the terms of (a debt or promise, for example).
  • transitive v. Law To acquit completely: discharged the defendant.
  • transitive v. Law To set aside; annul: discharge a court order.
  • transitive v. To remove (color) from cloth, as by chemical bleaching.
  • transitive v. Electricity To cause the release of stored energy or electric charge from (a battery, for example).
  • transitive v. Architecture To apportion (weight) evenly, as over a door.
  • transitive v. Architecture To relieve (a part) of excess weight by distribution of pressure.
  • transitive v. To clear the record of the loan of (a returned library book).
  • intransitive v. To get rid of a burden, load, or weight.
  • intransitive v. To go off; fire: The musket discharged loudly.
  • intransitive v. To pour forth, emit, or release contents.
  • intransitive v. To become blurred, as a color or dye; run.
  • intransitive v. To undergo the release of stored energy or electric charge.
  • n. The act of removing a load or burden.
  • n. The act of shooting or firing a projectile or weapon.
  • n. A flowing out or pouring forth; emission; secretion: a discharge of pus.
  • n. The amount or rate of emission or ejection.
  • n. Something that is discharged, released, emitted, or excreted: a watery discharge.
  • n. The act or an instance of removing an obligation, burden, or responsibility.
  • n. Fulfillment of the terms of something, such as a debt or promise.
  • n. Performance, as of an office or duty.
  • n. Dismissal or release from employment, service, care, or confinement.
  • n. An official document certifying such release, especially from military service.
  • n. Law An annulment or acquittal; dismissal, as of a court order.
  • n. Electricity Release of stored energy in a capacitor by the flow of current between its terminals.
  • n. Electricity Conversion of chemical energy to electric energy in a storage battery.
  • n. Electricity A flow of electricity in a dielectric, especially in a rarefied gas.
  • n. Electricity Elimination of net electric charge from a charged body.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To accomplish or complete, as an obligation.
  • v. To expel or let go.
  • v. To release (an accumulated charge).
  • v. To release (an inpatient) from hospital.
  • v. To release (a member of the armed forces) from service.
  • v. To operate (any weapon that fires a projectile, such as a shotgun or sling).
  • v. To release (an auxiliary assumption) from the list of assumptions used in arguments, and return to the main argument.
  • v. To unload a ship or another means of transport.
  • n. (uncountable) pus or exudate (other than blood) from a wound or orifice, usually due to infection or pathology
  • n. the act of accomplishing (an obligation); performance
  • n. the act of expelling or letting go
  • n. the act of releasing an accumulated charge
  • n. the act of releasing an inpatient from hospital
  • n. the act of releasing a member of the armed forces from service
  • n. the discharge of a river is the volume of water transported by it in a certain amount of time, usually in units of m3/s (cubic meters per second)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To relieve of a charge, load, or burden; to empty of a load or cargo; to unburden; to unload.
  • transitive v. To free of the missile with which anything is charged or loaded; to let go the charge of; ; especially, said of firearms, -- to fire off; to shoot off; also, to relieve from a state of tension, as a Leyden jar.
  • transitive v. To of something weighing upon or impeding over one, as a debt, claim, obligation, responsibility, accusation, etc.; to absolve; to acquit; to clear.
  • transitive v. To relieve of an office or employment; to send away from service; to dismiss.
  • transitive v. To release legally from confinement; to set at liberty.
  • transitive v. To put forth, or remove, as a charge or burden; to take out, as that with which anything is loaded or filled.
  • transitive v. To let fly, as a missile; to shoot.
  • transitive v. To set aside; to annul; to dismiss.
  • transitive v. To throw off the obligation of, as a duty or debt; to relieve one's self of, by fulfilling conditions, performing duty, trust, and the like; hence, to perform or execute, as an office, or part.
  • transitive v. To send away (a creditor) satisfied by payment; to pay one's debt or obligation to.
  • transitive v. To give forth; to emit or send out; ; to let fly; to give expression to; to utter.
  • transitive v. To prohibit; to forbid.
  • transitive v. To bleach out or to remove or efface, as by a chemical process.
  • intransitive v. To throw off or deliver a load, charge, or burden; to unload; to emit or give vent to fluid or other contents.
  • n. The act of discharging; the act of relieving of a charge or load; removal of a load or burden; unloading
  • n. Firing off; explosive removal of a charge; explosion; letting off.
  • n. Act of relieving of something which oppresses or weighs upon one, as an obligation, liability, debt, accusation, etc.; acquittance.
  • n. Act of removing, or getting rid of, an obligation, liability, etc.; fulfillment, as by the payment of a debt, or the performance of a trust or duty.
  • n. Release or dismissal from an office, employment, etc.; dismission.
  • n. Legal release from confinement; liberation.
  • n. The state of being discharged or relieved of a debt, obligation, office, and the like; acquittal.
  • n. That which discharges or releases from an obligation, liability, penalty, etc., as a price of ransom, a legal document.
  • n. A flowing or issuing out; emission; vent; evacuation; also, that which is discharged or emitted.
  • n. The equalization of a difference of electric potential between two points. The character of the discharge is mostly determined by the nature of the medium through which it takes place, the amount of the difference of potential, and the form of the terminal conductors on which the difference exists. The discharge may be alternating, continuous, brush, connective, disruptive, glow, oscillatory, stratified, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • To clear one's self of, as by explanation; account for.
  • In dyeing, to free from the dye.
  • In calico-or other cloth-printing, to free (the cloth) from the color in the places where the figure is to appear.
  • To remove (the color). See discharge style, below.
  • In silk-manuf., to deprive (silk) of (its) external covering, the silk-glue.
  • To throw off a burden.
  • To deliver a load or charge: as, the troops loaded and discharged with great rapidity.
  • To blur or run: as, the lines of an india-ink drawing are liable to discharge if gone over with a wash of water-color.
  • n. The act of unloading or disburdening; relief from a burden or charge: as, the discharge of a ship.
  • n. Specifically The act of firing a missile weapon, as a bow by drawing and releasing the string, or a gun by exploding the charge of powder.
  • n. The act of removing or taking away; removal, as of a burden or load, by physical means, or by settlement, payment, fulfilment, etc.: as, the discharge of a cargo, of a debt, or of an obligation.
  • n. A flowing out; emission; vent: as, the discharge of water from a river or from an orifice, of blood from a wound, of lightning from a cloud.
  • n. The act of freeing; dismissal; release or dismissal from accusation, restraint, obligation, duty, or service; also, a certificate of such release or dismissal: as, the discharge of a prisoner, of a debtor, or of a servant.
  • n. The rate of flowing out: as, the discharge is 100 gallons a minute.
  • n. That which is thrown out; matter emitted: as, a thin serous discharge; a purulent discharge.
  • n. Performance; execution: as, a good man is faithful in the discharge of his duties.
  • n. In dyeing, a compound, as chlorid of lime, which has the property of bleaching, or taking away the color already communicated to a fabric, by which means white patterns are produced on colored grounds.
  • In law, to make an end of; annul; cancel: as, to discharge a rule to show cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. complete or carry out
  • n. a formal written statement of relinquishment
  • n. the sudden giving off of energy
  • n. any of several bodily processes by which substances go out of the body
  • n. a substance that is emitted or released
  • v. eliminate (a substance)
  • n. the pouring forth of a fluid
  • v. pour forth or release
  • n. electrical conduction through a gas in an applied electric field
  • v. remove the charge from
  • v. release from military service
  • v. leave or unload
  • n. the act of discharging a gun
  • v. cause to go off
  • v. become empty or void of its content
  • v. free from obligations or duties
  • n. the termination of someone's employment (leaving them free to depart)
  • v. go off or discharge
  • v. pronounce not guilty of criminal charges
  • n. the act of venting

Etymologies

Middle English dischargen, from Old French deschargier, from Late Latin discarricāre : Latin dis-, dis- + Late Latin carricāre, to load; see charge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman descharger, from Old French deschargier, from Late Latin discarricō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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