Borrowed from Anglo-Norman descharger, from Old French deschargier (to unload), from Late Latin discarricō (I unload), equivalent to 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.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 3 scene 1
      O most dear mistress, / The sun will set before I shall discharge / What I must strive to do.
  2. To free of a debt, claim, obligation, responsibility, accusation, etc.; to absolve; to acquit; to forgive; to clear.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Discharged of business, void of strife.
    • (Can we date this quote by L'Estrange and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      In one man's fault discharge another man of his duty.
  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.
    • (Can we date this quote by H. Spencer and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      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).
    • (Can we date this quote by Knolles and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      The galleys also did oftentimes, out of their prows, discharge their great pieces against the city.
    • 1918, Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Land That Time Forgot Chapter IV
      I ran forward, discharging my pistol into the creature's body in an effort to force it to relinquish its prey; but I might as profitably have shot at the sun.
  11. 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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Walter Scott to this entry?)



discharge (countable and uncountable, plural discharges)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. (medicine, uncountable) Pus or exudate (other than blood) from a wound or orifice, usually due to infection or pathology.
  2. The act of accomplishing (an obligation) or repaying a debt etc.; performance.
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, act 2 scene 1
      Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come / In yours and my discharge.
  3. The act of expelling or letting go.
  4. The act of firing a projectile, especially from a firearm.
    Synonym: firing
  5. The process of unloading something.
  6. The process of flowing out.
  7. (electricity) The act of releasing an accumulated charge.
  8. (medicine) The act of releasing an inpatient from hospital.
  9. (military) The act of releasing a member of the armed forces from service.
  10. (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).