early 15c., "to reload" (a vessel), from re- "again, back" + charge (v.) "to load" (q.v.); modeled on Old French rechargier "to load, load back on" (13c.). The general sense of "put a fresh charge in, reload, refill" is by 1839 and might be a new formation from the same elements. The meaning "re-power" a battery is from 1876, hence the figurative senses of "restore fitness, refresh mental composure" (by 1921). Related: Recharged; recharging. The noun is recorded from 1610s in English, "a fresh charge or load."