1570s, "map for the use of navigators," from Middle French charte "card, map," from Late Latin charta "paper, card, map" (see card (n.1)). Charte is the original form of the French word in all senses, but after 14c. (perhaps by influence of Italian cognate carta), carte began to supplant it. English used both carte and card 15c.-17c. for "chart, map," and in 17c. chart could mean "playing card," but the words have gone their separate ways and chart has predominated since in the "map" sense.
Meaning "sheet on which information is presented in a methodical or tabulated form" is from 1840; specifically in the music score sense from 1957.
1837, "to enter onto a map or chart," from chart (n.). In the commercial recording sense, in reference to appearing on the chart of top-selling or most played records published in "Billboard" magazine, by 1961. The chart itself was printed from c. 1942. Related: Charted; charting.
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