in charge,
    1. in command; having supervisory power.
    2. British. under arrest; in or into the custody of the police.
    in charge of,
    1. having the care or supervision of: She is in charge of two libraries.
    2. Also in the charge of. under the care or supervision of: The books are in the charge of the accounting office.

Origin of charge

1175–1225; 1950–55 for def 39; (v.) Middle English chargen < Anglo-French, Old French charg(i)er < Late Latin carricāre to load a wagon, equivalent to carr(us) wagon (see car1) + -icā- v. suffix. + -re infinitive ending; (noun) Middle English < Anglo-French, Old French, noun derivative of the v.


27 See price.
30 onslaught, assault.
32 commission, trust.
33 management.
37 indictment, imputation, allegation.
44 cargo, freight.

Related forms

charge·less, adjectiveself-charg·ing, adjective

Can be confused

accuse allege charge

Definition for charge (2 of 2)


[ shahr-zhey, shahr-zhey; French shar-zhey ]
/ ʃɑrˈʒeɪ, ˈʃɑr ʒeɪ; French ʃarˈʒeɪ /

noun, plural char·gés [shahr-zheyz, shahr-zheyz; French shar-zhey] /ʃɑrˈʒeɪz, ˈʃɑr ʒeɪz; French ʃarˈʒeɪ/.

a chargé d'affaires.

Origin of chargé

by shortening Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for charge

British Dictionary definitions for charge


/ (tʃɑːdʒ) /



Word Origin for charge

C13: from Old French chargier to load, from Late Latin carricāre; see carry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for charge


[ chärj ]

A fundamental property of the elementary particles of which matter is made that gives rise to attractive and repulsive forces. There are two kinds of charge: color charge and electric charge. See more at color charge electric charge.
The amount of electric charge contained in an object, particle, or region of space.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with charge


In addition to the idioms beginning with charge

  • charge off
  • charge up
  • charge with

also see:

  • carrying charge
  • get a bang (charge) out of
  • in charge
  • in charge of
  • take charge
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.