verb dis·charge \dis-ˈchärj, ˈdis-ˌ\

: to allow (someone) to leave a hospital, prison, etc.

: to take away the job of (someone) : to end the employment of (someone)

: to end the service of (someone) in a formal or official way : to release (someone) from duty

Full Definition of DISCHARGE

transitive verb
:  to relieve of a charge, load, or burden:
a :  unload <discharge a cargo ship>
b :  to release from an obligation
c :  to release electrical energy from (as a battery or capacitor) by a discharge
a :  to let or put off <discharge passengers> <discharge cargo>
b :  shoot <discharge an arrow>
c :  to release from confinement, custody, or care <discharge a prisoner> <discharge a patient>
d :  to give outlet or vent to :  emit <discharge emotions>
a (1) :  to dismiss from employment (2) :  to release from service or duty <discharge a soldier>
b :  to get rid of (as a debt or obligation) by performing an appropriate action (as payment)
c :  to set aside :  annul
d :  to order (a legislative committee) to end consideration of a bill in order to bring it before the house for action
:  to bear and distribute (as the weight of a wall above an opening)
:  to bleach out or remove (color or dye) in dyeing and printing textiles
:  to cancel the record of the loan of (a library book) upon return
intransitive verb
a :  to throw off or deliver a load, charge, or burden
b :  to release electrical energy by a discharge
a :  go off, fire —used of a gun
b :  spread, run <some dyes discharge>
c :  to pour forth fluid or other contents
dis·charge·able \-jə-bəl\ adjective
dis·charg·ee \(ˌ)dis-ˌchär-ˈjē\ noun
dis·charg·er \dis-ˈchär-jər, ˈdis-ˌ\ noun

Examples of DISCHARGE

  1. She's due to be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.
  2. We had to discharge several employees last week.
  3. Thousands of soldiers were discharged after the war.
  4. The judge discharged the jury.
  5. The ship discharged missiles against enemy targets.
  6. The gun failed to discharge.


Middle English, from Anglo-French descharger, from Late Latin discarricare, from Latin dis- + Late Latin carricare to load — more at charge
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of DISCHARGE

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect. perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill <performed gymnastics>. execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent <executed the hit-and-run>. discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks <discharged his duties>. accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out <accomplished everything they set out to do>. achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties <achieve greatness>. effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles <effected sweeping reforms>. fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities <fulfilled their ambitions>.


noun dis·charge \ˈdis-ˌchärj, dis-ˈ\

: the release of someone from a hospital, prison, etc.

: the act of firing or dismissing someone from a job

: the act of ending a person's service to the military

Full Definition of DISCHARGE

a :  the act of relieving of something that oppresses :  release
b :  something that discharges or releases; especially :  a certification of release or payment
:  the state of being discharged or relieved
:  the act of discharging or unloading
:  legal release from confinement
:  a firing off
a :  a flowing or issuing out <a discharge of spores>; also :  a rate of flow
b :  something that is emitted <a purulent discharge>
:  the act of removing an obligation or liability
a :  release or dismissal especially from an office or employment
b :  complete separation from military service
a :  the equalization of a difference of electric potential between two points
b :  the conversion of the chemical energy of a battery into electrical energy

Examples of DISCHARGE

  1. The doctors approved her discharge from the hospital.
  2. Several former employees are suing the company for wrongful discharge.
  3. After his discharge from the military, he went to college to become a teacher.
  4. The damage was caused by accidental discharge of a hunting rifle.
  5. a rapid discharge from a gun

First Known Use of DISCHARGE

14th century
DISCHARGEE Defined for Kids


verb dis·charge \dis-ˈchärj\

Definition of DISCHARGE for Kids

:  to allow to leave or get off <The patient was discharged from the hospital.>
:  to dismiss from service <discharge a worker>
:  to free of a load or burden :  unload <discharge a ship>
:  1shoot 2 <discharge a gun>
:  to cause to shoot out of <discharge a bullet>
:  to pour forth fluid or other contents <The chimney discharged smoke.>
:  to get rid of by paying or doing <discharge a debt> <He discharged his responsibilities.>


noun dis·charge \ˈdis-ˌchärj\

Definition of DISCHARGE for Kids

:  the release of someone from a place <The doctor approved her discharge from the hospital.>
:  the release from a duty or debt
:  a certificate of release or payment
:  the act of firing a person from a job
:  an end of a person's military service
:  an act of firing off <a gun's discharge>
:  something that flows out <The discharge was coming from a pipe.>


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