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From Middle English dischargen, from Old French deschargier (to unload), from Late Latin discarricāre (unload). By surface analysis, dis- +‎ charge.



discharge (third-person singular simple present discharges, present participle discharging, simple past and past participle discharged)

  1. To accomplish or complete, as an obligation.
  2. To free of a debt, claim, obligation, responsibility, accusation, etc.; to absolve; to acquit; to forgive; to clear.
  3. To send away (a creditor) satisfied by payment; to pay one's debt or obligation to.
  4. To set aside; to annul; to dismiss.
  5. To expel or let go.
    • January 1, 1878, Herbert Spencer, Ceremonial Government, published in The Fortnightly Review No. 132
      Feeling in other cases discharges itself in indirect muscular actions.
  6. To let fly, as a missile; to shoot.
  7. (electricity) To release (an accumulated charge).
  8. To relieve of an office or employment; to send away from service; to dismiss.
    Synonyms: fire, let go, terminate; see also Thesaurus:lay off
    1. (medicine) To release (an inpatient) from hospital.
    2. (military) To release (a member of the armed forces) from service.
  9. To release legally from confinement; to set at liberty.
    to discharge a prisoner
  10. To operate (any weapon that fires a projectile, such as a shotgun or sling).
  11. (logic) To release (an auxiliary assumption) from the list of assumptions used in arguments, and return to the main argument.
  12. To unload a ship or another means of transport.
  13. To put forth, or remove, as a charge or burden; to take out, as that with which anything is loaded or filled.
    to discharge a cargo
  14. To give forth; to emit or send out.
    A pipe discharges water.
  15. To let fly; to give expression to; to utter.
    He discharged a horrible oath.
  16. (transitive, textiles) To bleach out or to remove or efface, as by a chemical process.
    to discharge the colour from a dyed fabric in order to form light figures on a dark background
  17. (obsolete, Scotland) To prohibit; to forbid.
    • 1822, [Walter Scott], Peveril of the Peak. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to IV), Edinburgh: [] Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., →OCLC:
      That Richard Stevenson, Robert Calcott, and Richard Tyldesley, be discharged from farther restraint, giving good security to appear at this Board whensoever summoned, and not depart this city until full satisfaction be given



discharge (countable and uncountable, plural discharges)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. The act of expelling or letting go.
    1. (medicine) The act of releasing an inpatient from hospital.
    2. (military) The act of releasing a member of the armed forces from service.
  2. The act of firing a projectile, especially from a firearm.
    Synonym: firing
  3. The process of removing the load borne by something.
    Synonym: unloading
  4. The process of flowing out.
    1. (medicine, uncountable) Pus or exudate or mucus (but in modern usage not exclusively blood) from a wound or orifice, usually due to pathological or hormonal changes.
  5. (electricity) The act of releasing an accumulated charge.
  6. (hydrology) The volume of water transported by a river in a certain amount of time, usually in units of m3/s (cubic meters per second).
  7. The act of accomplishing (an obligation) or repaying a debt etc.; performance.
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
      Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come / In yours and my discharge.
    • 1890, James George Frazer, The Golden Bough, volume 2, page 137:
      She [the Queen] was assisted in the discharge of her solemn functions by fourteen sacred women, one for each of the altars of Dionysus.

Derived terms[edit]