General English

  • noun money which you have to pay for something
  • noun a statement that someone has done something bad or wrong
  • noun a sudden rush towards someone or something, especially as part of an attack
  • verb to say that someone has done something wrong
  • verb to give someone responsibility


  • noun money which must be paid, or the price of a service
  • noun a guarantee of security for a loan, for which assets are pledged
  • verb to ask someone to pay for services later
  • verb to take something as guarantee for a loan
  • verb to record an expense or other deduction from revenue in the profit and loss account


  • verb to pass electrical current through something and thereby make it electrically active


  • verb to ask for money to be paid
  • verb to pay for something by putting it on a charge account

Cars & Driving

  • noun the amount of air/fuel mixture supplied to the cylinder that is available for combustion
  • noun a definite quantity of electricity, such as that contained in a storage battery


  • noun management or control


  • noun the number of, excess of or lack of electrons in a material or component
  • verb to supply a device with an electric charge


  • A quantity of explosives set in place.
  • A load of refrigerant in a refrigeration or air-conditioning system.


  • verb to leave one’s crease and advance down the wicket before the bowler releases the ball
    Citation ‘Soon after Ellis was stumped, charging unsuccessfully at Reedman’ (Geoff Armstrong, A century of Summers: 100 years of Sheffield Shield Cricket)
    Citation ‘If the bowler throws at the striker’s wicket in an attempt to run him out (as when the batsman “gives him the charge”) it is a no ball’ (Oslear & Mosey 1993)


  • A basic property of subatomic particles, atoms, molecules, and the antimatter counterparts of each of these. A charge may be negative, positive, or there may be no charge. The net charge of a body is the sum of the charges of all its constituents. For instance, a cation has a net deficiency of electrons, so its charge is positive. Each electric charge, whether positive or negative, is equal to 1.6022 × 10-19 coulomb, the charge of an electron, or a whole number multiple of it. Also called electric charge (1), or electrostatic charge (1). Its symbol is Q.
  • The electrical energy stored in an insulated body such as a storage battery or capacitor. Usually expressed in coulombs. Also called electric charge (2), or electrostatic charge (2).
  • The directing of electrical energy into an insulated body which can store this energy, such as a storage battery or capacitor.
  • The conversion of electrical energy into chemical energy within a battery or cell.
  • symbolQ

Information & Library Science

  • verb to ask people to pay for goods or services


  • noun an official statement in a court accusing someone of having committed a crime
  • noun a set of instructions given by a judge to a jury, summing up the evidence and giving advice on the points of law which have to be considered


  • noun a rapid and aggressive movement towards the enemy
  • noun a measured quantity of propellant used to fire a projectile
  • noun an explosive device
  • verb to move quickly and aggressively towards the enemy
  • verb to make an official accusation against someone
  • verb to put electrical energy into a battery or other device


  • noun an accusation made by the police in a criminal case


  • noun money which must be paid for something such as a service

Real Estate

  • noun a creditor’s legal right to receive money from the sale or lease of the property of a debtor


  • noun hashish or marihuana. The word was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, especially among beatniks, students, etc., who generally did not use hard drugs. This term, no longer heard, refers (rather inappropriately perhaps in the case of cannabis) to the ‘charge’ or sudden electrifying sensation felt by the drug user, possibly reinforced by charas (the Hindi word for cannabis, used by some English speakers in the 1960s). In American usage it was originally applied to the effect of a heroin injection.

Origin & History of “charge”

The notion underlying the word charge is of a ‘load’ or ‘burden’ – and this can still be detected in many of its modern meanings, as of a duty laid on one like a load, or of the burden of an expense, which began as metaphors. It comes ultimately from Latin carrus ‘two-wheeled wagon’ (source also of English car). From this was derived the late Latin verb carricāre ‘load’, which produced the Old French verb charger and, via the intermediate vulgar Latin *carrica, the Old French noun charge, antecedents of the English words. The literal sense of ‘loading’ or ‘bearing’ has now virtually died out, except in such phrases as ‘charge your glasses’, but there are reminders of it in cargo (17th c.), which comes from the Spanish equivalent of the French noun charge, and indeed in carry, descended from the same ultimate source.

The origins of the verb sense ‘rush in attack’ are not altogether clear, but it may have some connection with the sense ‘put a weapon in readiness’. This is now familiar in the context of firearms, but it seems to have been used as long ago as the 13th century with reference to arrows.

The Italian descendant of late Latin carricāre was caricare, which meant not only ‘load’ but also, metaphorically, ‘exaggerate’. From this was derived the noun caricatura, which reached English via French in the 18th century as caricature.