Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of charge


  1. accuse (of an offence) (often foll. by with)
  2. make an accusation that (follow by that + clause)

Definition of charge


    < Middle English chargen < Old French charger < Mediaeval Latin carricare ("to load") < Latin carrus ("a car, wagon"); see car.


  • (RP) IPA: /ˈʧɑɹʤ/
  • (GenAm) IPA: /ˈʧɑːʤ/
  • Audio (US) [?]
  • Rhymes: -ɑː(r)dʒ


charge (plural charges)

  1. responsibility.

    The child was in the nanny's charge.

  2. Someone or something entrusted to one's care, such as a child to a babysitter or a student to a teacher.

    The child was a charge of the nanny.

  3. A load or burden; cargo.

    The ship had a charge of colonists and their belongings.

  4. The amount of money levied for a service.

    A charge of 5 dollars.

  5. An instruction.

    I gave him the charge to get the deal closed by the end of the month.

  6. (military) A ground attack against a prepared enemy.

    Pickett died leading his famous charge.

  7. An accusation.

    * 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 261a.
    we'll nail the sophist to it, if we can get him on that charge;
    That's a slanderous charge of abuse of trust.

  8. An electric charge.
  9. (basketball) An offensive foul in which the player with the ball moves into a stationary defender.
  10. A measured amount of powder and/or shot in a firearm cartridge.
  11. (heraldry) An image displayed on an escutcheon.


to charge (third-person singular simple present charges, present participle charging, simple past and past participle charged)

  1. To place a burden upon.
  2. To assign a duty to.

    I'm charging you with cleaning up the kitchen.

  3. To formally accuse of a crime.

    I'm charging you with grand theft auto.

  4. To assign a debit to an account.

    Let's charge this to marketing.

  5. To pay on account, as by using a credit card.

    Can I charge my Amazon purchase to Paypal?

  6. To cause to take on an electric charge.

    Rubbing amber with wool will charge it quickly.
    Don't forget to charge the drill.

  7. To move forward quickly and forcefully, particularly in combat, on horseback or both.
  8. (military) To attack by moving forward quickly in a group.
  9. (basketball) To commit a charging foul.
  10. (cricket) (of a batsman) To take a few steps doen the pitch towards the bowler as he delivers the ball, either to disrupt the length of the delivery, or to get into a better position to hit the ball.
  11. To load equipment with material required for its use, as a firearm with powder, a fire hose with water, a chemical reactor with raw materials.

    Charge your weapons, we're moving up

Related terms


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     lex fori
2.     landed property
3.     lex situs
4.     respondent
5.     default judgment
6.     tort law
7.     living will
8.     lex causae
9.     law
10.     salacious