Etymology
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charter (n.)

"formal written instrument bestowing privileges and rights, serving as legal evidence of them," c. 1200, from Old French chartre (12c.) "charter, letter, document, covenant," from Latin chartula/cartula, literally "little paper," diminutive of charta/carta "paper, document" (see chart (n.)). Meaning "aircraft hired for a particular purpose" is from 1922.

charter (v.)

early 15c., "provide with a charter," from charter (n.). Meaning "to hire by special contract" is attested from 1806. Related: Chartered; chartering.

updated on November 02, 2017

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Definitions of charter from WordNet
1
charter (v.)
hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services;
Synonyms: rent / hire / lease
charter (v.)
grant a charter to;
charter (v.)
engage for service under a term of contract;
Synonyms: lease / rent / hire / engage / take
2
charter (n.)
a document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights; includes the articles of incorporation and the certificate of incorporation;
charter (n.)
a contract to hire or lease transportation;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.