c. 1200, "a load, a weight," from Old French charge "load, burden; imposition," from chargier "to load, to burden," from Late Latin carricare "to load a wagon or cart," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car). A doublet of cargo.
Meaning "responsibility, burden" is from mid-14c. (as in take charge, late 14c.; in charge, 1510s), which progressed to "pecuniary burden, cost, burden of expense" (mid-15c.), and then to "price demanded for service or goods" (1510s). Meaning "anything committed to another's custody, care, or management" is from 1520s.
Legal sense of "accusation" is late 15c.; earlier "injunction, order" (late 14c.). Meaning "address delivered by a judge to a jury at the close of a trial" is from 1680s. Electrical sense is from 1767. Slang meaning "thrill, kick" (American English) is from 1951. Meaning "quantity of powder required for one discharge of a firearm" is from 1650s. Military meaning "impetuous attack upon an enemy" is from 1560s; as an order or signal to make such an attack, 1640s.