Meaning of “discharge” in the English Dictionary

"discharge" in English

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uk /dɪsˈtʃɑːdʒ/ us /dɪsˈtʃɑːrdʒ/

discharge verb (ALLOW TO LEAVE)

[ T ] to allow someone officially to leave somewhere, especially a hospital or a law court:

Patients were discharged from the hospital because the beds were needed by other people.
More than half of all prisoners discharged are reconvicted within two years.
UK A peace protester was conditionally discharged for twelve months (= allowed to go free only if they do not commit a crime again for this period of time).

discharge verb (PERFORM)

[ T ] formal to perform a task, especially an official one:

The city must discharge its legal duty to house the homeless.
discharge a debt formal

to pay back a debt completely


uk /ˈdɪs.tʃɑːdʒ/ us /ˈdɪs.tʃɑːrdʒ/

discharge noun (SUBSTANCE)

[ C or U ] the act of sending out waste liquid or gas:

Thousands of fish were killed as a result of a discharge of poisonous chemicals from a nearby factory.

[ C or U ] liquid matter that comes from a part of the body and is often infected:

a vaginal discharge

(Definition of “discharge” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"discharge" in American English

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us /dɪsˈtʃɑrdʒ, ˈdɪs·tʃɑrdʒ/

discharge verb (ALLOW TO LEAVE)

[ T ] to allow someone to leave:

Allen was discharged from the hospital yesterday.

[ T ] Someone who is discharged from a job is asked to leave it.

discharge verb (SEND OUT)

[ I/T ] to send out a substance, esp. waste matter:

[ I ] The soapy water from the washing machine will discharge directly into the waste line.

discharge verb (SHOOT)

[ I/T ] to shoot a gun:

[ I ] A gun accidentally discharged.

discharge verb (PERFORM)

[ T ] fml to perform a duty, esp. an official one:

He continued to discharge his duties as administrator of the fund.

dischargenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈdɪs·tʃɑrdʒ/

discharge noun [ C/U ] (LEAVING )

the act of asking or allowing someone to leave a place, esp. a job:

[ C ] McCarthy held the rank of captain at the time of his discharge from the army.

discharge noun [ C/U ] (LIQUID)

the act of sending a liquid or gas out of something, or the substance that comes out:

[ C ] an oily discharge

A discharge is also liquid matter that comes from a part of the body.

(Definition of “discharge” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"discharge" in Business English

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uk /dɪsˈtʃɑːdʒ/ us

[ T ] to give someone an official order or legal permission to end their duty in the army, a court, a prison, etc.:

The judge discharged the jury and ordered a retrial.
He was honourably discharged from the Army three years ago.

[ T ] HR if a company or organization discharges an employee, it makes them leave their job:

discharge sb for sth Several of the directors were later discharged for mismanaging shareholder funds.

[ T ] LAW, FINANCE to give a bankrupt person legal permission to stop owing a particular debt:

discharge a bankrupt First-time bankrupts are typically discharged automatically after 12 months.
discharge a debt Bankruptcy laws generally won't let people discharge their student loan debt.

[ T ] FINANCE to pay the total amount owed for a debt, loan, payment, etc.:

The company continues to discharge its loan repayment obligations in time.

[ T ] to do an official task or duty:

[ I or T ] ENVIRONMENT if a business or factory discharges gas, chemicals, liquid waste, etc., it sends these substances into the air or water:

Companies must be issued a permit from the EPA before they are allowed to discharge.
discharge sth into sth The mine has a federal permit to discharge mine wastewater into the river.

[ I or T ] TRANSPORT to take goods off a ship or plane or to allow passengers to get off:

It took a whole day to discharge the ship.


uk /ˈdɪstʃɑːdʒ/ us

[ C ] FINANCE the end of a debt, or an official order that ends someone’s duty to pay a debt:

Bankrupts must undergo credit counselling before receiving a discharge of their debts.
loan discharges and cancellations

[ C or U ] ENVIRONMENT a waste substance that is sent into the air or water from a factory or business:

$1 billion was spent to reduce the plant’s mercury discharge.

[ U ] formal HR an official order that ends someone’s job:

He sued the company for wrongful discharge.

[ C or U ] an official order or legal permission to leave your duty in the army, a court, a prison, etc.:

honourable/dishonourable discharge If convicted, his sentence will include a reduction in rank to private and a dishonourable discharge.

[ U ] formal the act of doing a task or duty that you must do:

discharge of duties/responsibilities Employees found to have committed any breaches in the discharge of their duties will be reprimanded.

[ U ] TRANSPORT the job or activity of getting goods or passengers off a ship or plane:

The west docks are used for the loading and discharge of cargo.

(Definition of “discharge” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)