charge (v.)

early 13c., "to load, put a burden on or in; fill with something to be retained," from Old French chargier "to load, burden, weigh down," from Late Latin carricare "to load a wagon or cart," from Latin carrus "two-wheeled wagon" (see car).

Senses of "entrust," "command," and "accuse" all emerged in Middle English and were found in Old French. Sense of "rush in to attack, bear down upon" is from 1560s, perhaps through earlier meaning "load a weapon" (1540s). Meaning "impose a burden of expense" is from mid-14c. That of "to fix or ask as a price" is from 1787; meaning "hold liable for payment, enter a debt against" is by 1889. Meaning "fill with electricity" is from 1748. Related: Charged; charging.

charge (n.)

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.

updated on November 02, 2017

Definitions of charge from WordNet
charge (v.)
to make a rush at or sudden attack upon, as in battle;
Synonyms: bear down
charge (v.)
blame for, make a claim of wrongdoing or misbehavior against;
he charged the director with indifference
Synonyms: accuse
charge (v.)
demand payment;
Will I get charged for this service?
Synonyms: bill
charge (v.)
move quickly and violently;
Synonyms: tear / shoot / shoot down / buck
charge (v.)
assign a duty, responsibility or obligation to;
She was charged with supervising the creation of a concordance
Synonyms: appoint
charge (v.)
file a formal charge against;
The suspect was charged with murdering his wife
Synonyms: lodge / file
charge (v.)
make an accusatory claim;
The defense attorney charged that the jurors were biased
charge (v.)
fill or load to capacity;
charge the wagon with hay
charge (v.)
enter a certain amount as a charge;
he charged me $15
charge (v.)
cause to be admitted; of persons to an institution;
Synonyms: commit / institutionalize / institutionalise / send
charge (v.)
give over to another for care or safekeeping;
Synonyms: consign
charge (v.)
pay with a credit card; pay with plastic money; postpone payment by recording a purchase as a debt;
Will you pay cash or charge the purchase?
charge (v.)
lie down on command, of hunting dogs;
charge (v.)
cause to be agitated, excited, or roused;
The speaker charged up the crowd with his inflammatory remarks
Synonyms: agitate / rouse / turn on / commove / excite / charge up
charge (v.)
place a heraldic bearing on;
charge all weapons, shields, and banners
charge (v.)
provide (a device) with something necessary;
Synonyms: load
charge (v.)
direct into a position for use;
He charged his weapon at me
Synonyms: level / point
charge (v.)
impose a task upon, assign a responsibility to;
He charged her with cleaning up all the files over the weekend
Synonyms: saddle / burden
charge (v.)
instruct (a jury) about the law, its application, and the weighing of evidence;
charge (v.)
instruct or command with authority;
The teacher charged the children to memorize the poem
charge (v.)
attribute responsibility to;
The tragedy was charged to her inexperience
Synonyms: blame
charge (v.)
set or ask for a certain price;
This fellow charges $100 for a massage
How much do you charge for lunch?
charge (v.)
cause formation of a net electrical charge in or on;
charge a conductor
charge (v.)
energize a battery by passing a current through it in the direction opposite to discharge;
I need to charge my car battery
charge (v.)
The room was charged with tension and anxiety
charge (n.)
an impetuous rush toward someone or something;
the wrestler's charge carried him past his adversary
the battle began with a cavalry charge
charge (n.)
(criminal law) a pleading describing some wrong or offense;
he was arrested on a charge of larceny
Synonyms: complaint
charge (n.)
the price charged for some article or service;
the admission charge
charge (n.)
the quantity of unbalanced electricity in a body (either positive or negative) and construed as an excess or deficiency of electrons;
the battery needed a fresh charge
Synonyms: electric charge
charge (n.)
attention and management implying responsibility for safety;
Synonyms: care / tutelage / guardianship
charge (n.)
a special assignment that is given to a person or group;
his charge was deliver a message
Synonyms: mission / commission
charge (n.)
a person committed to your care;
the teacher led her charges across the street
charge (n.)
financial liabilities (such as a tax);
the charges against the estate
charge (n.)
(psychoanalysis) the libidinal energy invested in some idea or person or object;
Freud thought of cathexis as a psychic analog of an electrical charge
Synonyms: cathexis
charge (n.)
the swift release of a store of affective force;
Synonyms: bang / boot / rush / flush / thrill / kick
charge (n.)
request for payment of a debt;
they submitted their charges at the end of each month
Synonyms: billing
charge (n.)
a formal statement of a command or injunction to do something;
the judge's charge to the jury
Synonyms: commission / direction
charge (n.)
an assertion that someone is guilty of a fault or offence;
the newspaper published charges that Jones was guilty of drunken driving
Synonyms: accusation
charge (n.)
heraldry consisting of a design or image depicted on a shield;
Synonyms: bearing / heraldic bearing / armorial bearing
charge (n.)
a quantity of explosive to be set off at one time;
this cartridge has a powder charge of 50 grains
Synonyms: burster / bursting charge / explosive charge
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.