Definition of discharge in English:



  • 1Tell (someone) officially that they can or must leave, in particular.

    • ‘He was discharged because his attitude toward us was so weird.’
    • ‘They stressed that staff would not be actively discharging anyone and no programme was in place to reduce the number of users by a set target.’
    • ‘They discharged their legal team over a year ago after spiralling costs threatened to ruin their business.’
    • ‘There was no other explanation and with that we were discharged.’
    • ‘The long chain of bureaucracy at present has made it difficult for the government to discharge civil servants who are proven guilty of corruption, including asking for illegal fees.’
    • ‘She also found after making a complaint about the way he was treated, his working hours were cut and he was ultimately discharged.’
    • ‘And this morning, all we heard was that you'd been discharged and sent to see the headmaster.’
    • ‘In most cases, he said, members found to have been involved with prohibited substances would be discharged.’
    • ‘Most of these discharged students are in fact believed to have been forced out, which would make the true drop-out rate 25 to 30 percent.’
    • ‘He was discharged with a pension in 1863, but nothing is known of his life between then and his death in Manchester in 1898.’
    • ‘The company lowered its evaluation of another employee, and discharged yet another who reported 60 problems with the plant.’
    • ‘The police suspect he had been discharged from his factory in 1983.’
    • ‘However, after 20 years, he injured his shoulder fighting a fire and was medically discharged from his secure employment.’
    1. 1.1Allow (a patient) to leave hospital because they are judged fit.
      ‘Mark was taken away in an ambulance but later discharged’
      • ‘The patient is discharged from the hospital on approximately the fourth postoperative day if there are no complications.’
      • ‘Six of the patients were discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘The package was offered before the patient was discharged from hospital.’
      • ‘The patients were discharged from the hospital within 48 hours of surgery.’
      • ‘The patient was discharged to his local hospital with plans for treatment with chemotherapy.’
      • ‘After two courses of treatment, the disease was cured and the patient was discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘A nurse provides the patient with written and verbal postoperative instructions before the patient is discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘We made baseline assessments in the 24 hours before patients were discharged from hospital and assigned to the intervention.’
      • ‘The providers made new diagnoses in 53% of the patients, and all patients were discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘Before the patient is discharged, a physical therapist fits the patient with crutches and gives instructions regarding their correct use.’
      • ‘Two patients were discharged to a nursing home.’
      • ‘Patients are rarely discharged from the hospital with a chest tube, so earlier removal could result in shorter hospital stays.’
      • ‘The patient was discharged to the nursing home under the care of the palliative care team.’
      • ‘The patient was discharged from the hospital and did well for about 3 months.’
      • ‘Patients being discharged from the hospital may received an initial supply of medications.’
      • ‘Patients from a large private cardiology practice who were discharged from the hospital following a coronary event were included in the analysis.’
      • ‘The postoperative course was uneventful, and the patient was discharged after a brief hospital stay.’
      • ‘Only minimal safety precautions are needed, and the patient can be discharged from the hospital.’
      • ‘Such interventions could be carried out with patients before they are discharged from hospital.’
      • ‘On most days, there is no urgent reason to discharge patients from the hospital.’
    2. 1.2Dismiss from the armed forces or police.
      ‘his memory was impaired and he was discharged from the RAF’
      • ‘After being medically discharged from the army he went on to various jobs.’
      • ‘The 24-year-old has been sentenced to one year in prison and has been discharged from the Army.’
      • ‘In 1933, his father, Leo, through no fault of his own, was discharged from the British Army.’
      • ‘At the time he was back in Clydebank having been dishonourably discharged from the Royal Navy.’
      • ‘They are discharged from military service, two have their ranks lowered, and all three are ordered to forfeit pay for two months.’
      • ‘The Major was discharged from the Army in 1976 after tests found he was suffering ‘high tone deafness’ in both ears.’
      • ‘On 19th October 1994 he was discharged from the police on the grounds of permanent ill health.’
      • ‘Two other crewmen were both badly injured in the attack and were subsequently discharged from the Army on medical grounds.’
      • ‘He went on a drunken rampage and was discharged from the military after serving 18 months.’
      • ‘The four applicants, three men and one woman, had been administratively discharged from the armed forces under this policy.’
      • ‘Were I to do that, Tom, I would be discharged from the military in a less than honorable manner and have a black mark on my name that would last the rest of my life.’
      • ‘He will be medically discharged from the Army for an athletic career again.’
      • ‘She told me she had just spoken with Jessica, who has now been discharged from the Army, and that she sounded great.’
      • ‘After 19 years with the army, the Major, was medically discharged from her unit.’
      • ‘A group of former members of the armed forces who were discharged from the military for being gay have filed suit asking to be reinstated.’
      • ‘Both were dishonourably discharged from National Service in 1954 after spending much of their time in military prisons.’
      • ‘After being dishonourably discharged from the US Marines in 1959, he moved to Russia, only to be refused citizenship and sent back to the US.’
      • ‘According to these websites, he was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1961 with the rank of sergeant.’
      • ‘My deepest sympathies are for those soldiers who have died after they were supposed to be discharged from the army.’
      • ‘He was honorably discharged from the Army in 2001.’
      dismiss, remove, eject, expel, deprive of office, get rid of, throw out, oust
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Release from the custody or restraint of the law.
      ‘she was conditionally discharged for two years at Oxford Crown Court’
      • ‘She was formally discharged by the court after the decision.’
      • ‘We remain instructed in relation to his application to be discharged from prison but emphasise that apart from the request contained herein we have had no role in his appeal against sentence.’
      • ‘He sought to be discharged without conviction because it would hurt his chances of become an official.’
      • ‘Cooper, who has no criminal convictions, was discharged from the dock by the Judge.’
      • ‘Magistrates ordered them to pay the full prosecution costs of £624.36 and conditionally discharged each of them for two years.’
      • ‘Following the verdicts, they were all formally discharged by the court.’
      • ‘She was formally discharged by the court following the jury's unanimous verdict.’
      • ‘After the unanimous verdict yesterday, he was formally discharged by the court.’
      • ‘He has previous convictions for shoplifting and was conditionally discharged for this latest offence.’
      • ‘They were cleared on all the charges by a jury of six men and six women and were formally discharged by the court following the verdicts.’
      • ‘He was later discharged as the police had no evidence for the charge.’
      • ‘Soon, Rocky is discharged from prison and comes back to the old neighborhood.’
      • ‘And I think he was discharged without a conviction, is that right?’
      • ‘The defendant, who had denied the charge and told the jury he was not there, was discharged from the dock by the Judge.’
      • ‘I reject the submission that this duty only comes into existence when the applicant is discharged from Broadmoor.’
      • ‘This is because they have been discharged from detention under the Act, not because they have been placed under supervision.’
      • ‘The lads were discharged on promising not to offend again.’
      • ‘Although plainly guilty, some of them were discharged by the courts before they ever came to trial and - from memory - all but one were later acquitted of all charges.’
      release, liberate, free, set free, let go, let out, allow to leave, let loose, set loose, turn loose
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4Relieve (a juror or jury) from serving in a case.
      ‘if the jury cannot agree, it should be discharged’
      • ‘He perfectly properly discharged the jury on that occasion.’
      • ‘He was formally cleared by the trial judge yesterday after the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict.’
      • ‘We have no hesitation in finding that the judge was not only entitled under common law to refuse to discharge these jurors, but would have been wrong had he done so.’
      • ‘A jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict in the case last July.’
      • ‘Two juries were discharged the first because a juror had to withdraw for personal reasons and the second because the jury room was found not to be soundproof.’
      • ‘In any event, even if that discretion could be attacked it was in no way the fault of the prosecution that the jury was discharged on that occasion.’
      • ‘The first jury was discharged for legal reasons on Wednesday.’
      • ‘In this case the jury could not agree on the charge of manslaughter and were discharged from giving a verdict.’
      • ‘The jury in the trial were discharged from returning verdicts on the other ten charges after the court heard there was no reasonable prospect of the the jury reaching verdicts.’
      • ‘The jury was discharged and leave given to seek an order for the attachment and committal of the five newspaper editors.’
      • ‘The judge had no choice but to immediately discharge the jury and swear in another.’
      • ‘But I would add to the fact that his Honour does appear to have applied the correct test concerning the need to discharge the jury.’
      • ‘In August this year the first jury was discharged after failing to reach verdicts on both charges.’
      • ‘The jury was finally discharged yesterday by the Judge with her thanks.’
      • ‘After a day of deliberations the jury was discharged and the prosecution asked for a week to decide whether to retry the accused.’
      • ‘It is said that the refusal to discharge the jury was an unreasonable exercise of discretion.’
      • ‘He discharged the jury from further service after the foreman said there was no prospect of them ever reaching majority verdicts on any of the remaining six counts.’
      • ‘There is no fixed rule of principle or of law to the effect that once a jury have been discharged from returning a verdict there cannot arise some circumstance which permits a judge to set aside the order of discharge.’
      • ‘The Court considered what appears to have been by now the only ground - the failure to discharge the jury following the departure of the applicant.’
  • 2Allow (a liquid, gas, or other substance) to flow out from where it has been confined.

    ‘industrial plants discharge highly toxic materials into rivers’
    [no object] ‘the overflow should discharge in an obvious place’
    • ‘In the Baltic Sea, similar dumps have started to discharge mustard gas, forming a jelly on contact with water.’
    • ‘It would tackle the amount of raw sewage being discharged into local water courses and remove the need for householders to have septic tanks maintained and emptied.’
    • ‘Twelve million cubic metres of raw sewage was discharged into the Thames this summer and more sewage was discharged last Thursday.’
    • ‘Alarms were raised when industrial glue was discharged into the harbour illegally.’
    • ‘Sewage treatment has collapsed, resulting in 500,000 tons of raw sewage being discharged into water sources every day.’
    • ‘He also said the pipe had been intended to discharge sewage not straight into the stream but into another part of the septic tanks, where it would be filtered before being discharged.’
    • ‘In some instances available manure is sometimes discharged of or destroyed by means of burning it.’
    • ‘Phthalates are chemicals discharged by plastics companies; researchers believe they disrupt the human endocrine system.’
    • ‘No Member will agree with 30% of urban sewage being discharged untreated into our seas and rivers.’
    • ‘In the past, large volumes of the radioactive substance have been discharged into the Irish Sea.’
    • ‘Most of the pollution comes from poorly-treated sewage and chemicals discharged by farms and factories.’
    • ‘The station was allowed to discharge sewage into the river during an emergency and was supposed to have alarms fitted to act as a warning when there had been a pump failure, but none of them worked.’
    • ‘I think of fuel and oil being discharged into rivers and oceans.’
    • ‘During this phase of the work the pre-cut material was discharged back into the channel where it lay pending removal by the trailers.’
    • ‘More than two million residents have no sanitary facilities, and much sewage is discharged untreated or partially treated into waterways.’
    • ‘Because these operations discharge uneaten food, pesticides and fish waste into the ocean, they need permits.’
    • ‘The pipe collects water from the soil, discharging the flow at an opening located downhill from the house.’
    • ‘This toxic brew together with other solid waste produced by indiscriminate dumping of other material is discharged into the nearest body of water.’
    • ‘They cannot be left out for the household rubbish collection and they must not be emptied by discharging the gas.’
    • ‘For these reasons it is unlawful to discharge sediment into our waterways.’
    send out, pour, release, eject, emit, let out, void, issue, dispense, give off, exude, excrete, ooze, leak, gush, jet
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1(of an orifice or diseased tissue) emit (pus or other liquid)
      ‘the swelling will eventually break down and discharge pus’
      [no object] ‘the eyes and nose began to discharge’
      • ‘He said that his ears were swollen and bleeding and discharging pus.’
      • ‘The primary and secondary lesions frequently ulcerate and may discharge a thin, serous fluid.’
      • ‘The anus has two muscle rings, which keep the contents of the rectum inside until they can conveniently be discharged.’
      • ‘Maybe you should also disqualify those golfers who discharge phlegm from their mouths while playing.’
      • ‘Reproduction in echinoderms is typically by external fertilization; eggs and sperm are freely discharged into the water.’
      • ‘The glands discharge their contents by the contraction of the arrector pili muscle and by any pressure applied to the gland.’
      • ‘The coldness also triggers the urinary organs, so more calcium, potassium and other inorganic salts are discharged with urine.’
      • ‘A 23 year old woman was referred by her general practitioner with multiple, unsightly lesions on her right pinna, which occasionally discharged pus.’
    2. 2.2Physics Release or neutralize the electric charge of (an electric field, battery, or other object)
      ‘the electrostatic field that builds up on a monitor screen can be discharged’
      [no object] ‘batteries have a tendency to discharge slowly’
      • ‘The emergency-lighting batteries were charging and discharging at a high rate.’
      • ‘Once the excess charge is discharged, the light emitting diode stops emitting light.’
      • ‘If it is a battery that is shorted, the battery will be discharged very quickly and will heat up due to the high current flow.’
      • ‘It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.’
      • ‘If the concentration of such a species is high enough that it does not change much as the battery is discharged, then the voltage output remains nearly constant.’
    3. 2.3(of a person) fire (a gun or missile)
      ‘when you shoot you can discharge as many barrels as you wish’
      • ‘I threw my arm back, pistol in hand, and started to discharge bullets at them while running forward.’
      • ‘Sometimes I'd discharge a firearm, just to make them aware that this is real, you know.’
      • ‘As the soldier reached over to roll up his sleeve he accidentally discharged the weapon, shooting Harry in the stomach.’
      • ‘It would have taken only one shot to end his life and ruin that of the police officer who discharged it.’
      • ‘At a national-class shooting tournament recently one of the 140 or so contestants accidentally discharged his pistol.’
      • ‘He has said he declined to report the incident at the time because he had illegally discharged a firearm in a national park.’
      • ‘A shootout commenced during which Barry was hit twice, but he also managed to discharge the shotgun twice before falling down.’
      • ‘According to the police, there was a struggle and the officer discharged his firearm.’
      • ‘It is unlawful for anyone to discharge a firearm in a public, especially with schoolchildren around.’
      • ‘Another guard discharged his weapon, sending a shower of sparks falling from the ceiling.’
      • ‘Under the bill, a person who knowingly discharges a firearm that sends a projectile across a property line could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor criminal violation.’
      • ‘It was the first and last time he ever discharged his weapon in the line of duty, and the first time he had been shot at.’
      • ‘He had thought he was a sufficient distance away from the neighbour's boundary when he had discharged the firearm.’
      • ‘The facts were that the lady discharged her firearm against two youngsters who were totally innocent of any misdemeanour.’
      • ‘Two men were arrested shortly after New Year's Day for discharging a firearm in the beachfront area.’
      • ‘Before they could discharge their rifles four of them were already down.’
      • ‘Armed officers then discharged their weapons.’
      • ‘He did not discharge his shotgun before he was killed.’
      • ‘Those who brandish or discharge firearms in a public place would, in all but the rarest cases, be locked up.’
      • ‘Clearly, there needs to be better training of our lawmen, they need to be a bit less ready to discharge their firearms.’
      fire, shoot, let off, set off, loose off, trigger, explode, detonate
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4[no object](of a firearm) be fired.
      ‘there was a dull thud as the gun discharged’
      • ‘The gun discharged and someone yelled in the darkness.’
      • ‘He claimed his finger slipped on the trigger while placing a round of ammunition in chamber and the gun accidentally discharged.’
      • ‘Cael pinched his eyes shut as he continued to fight against Lionel, but when the gun discharged, he froze.’
      • ‘The suspect surrendered and the officer attempted to turn off the laser sight on his pistol when the weapon discharged unintentionally.’
      • ‘After the shotgun had discharged he placed it in a rubbish bin and crawled back to his home address.’
      • ‘His pistol discharges, sending one woman pinwheeling across the room.’
      • ‘This is to guarantee that if the handgun does discharge, the projectile will go directly into the bullet stopper.’
      • ‘Both guns discharged together sounding as if only one gun was fired.’
      • ‘According to witnesses, he was showing off a shotgun to guests when the gun discharged while aimed at the limousine driver.’
      • ‘Always treat your firearm as if it could still discharge.’
      • ‘A rifle accidentally discharged and touched off battle.’
      • ‘The idea of somehow locking the firing pin is thought desirable because there is always a possibility a pistol might discharge if dropped.’
      • ‘The recall was announced after company officials discovered that a limited number of the shotguns might discharge when the bolt is closed during the loading.’
      • ‘His gun discharged and the beam shot towards me.’
      • ‘Another gun round discharged, this time grazing Jacob's elbow.’
      • ‘When he attempted to fire again, his 9mm pistol would not discharge; looking down, he saw it was jammed.’
      • ‘She reached cover and raised her weapon, her own gun discharging loudly.’
      • ‘‘Now, there shall be no firearms or other weapons discharged in the house,’ Edward ordered.’
      • ‘A rifle or shotgun kept ready to fire can discharge simply through impact if dropped on a floor; a modern revolver will not.’
      • ‘Yes, but the undeniable facts were the gun discharged because the trigger was pulled.’
    5. 2.5Unload (goods or passengers) from a ship.
      ‘the ferry was discharging passengers’
      [no object] ‘ninety ships were queuing to discharge’
      • ‘That did not come to an end until the cargo had all been discharged from the ship.’
      • ‘When the ship was ready to discharge the contractual cargo, there was no notification to the charterers or their agents.’
      • ‘Work is also continuing on the grain elevator, and ships wishing to discharge any cargo will have to be able to do so by themselves.’
      • ‘Often a ship discharging on a west coast port will proceed to Galway or the Shannon for a cargo back to the UK or Europe.’
      • ‘Subject to the provisions of Article 4, the carrier shall properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for, and discharge the goods carried.’
      • ‘Put simply, the regiment must be able to load and discharge ships at sea or in port, whether or not the enemy is around, and then move supplies forward by rail and river.’
      • ‘Since we were not going to hit the Floral Park station where we could stop at a platform, we would now need to return to Jamaica to discharge the passengers.’
      • ‘Seamen who sailed on dumping expeditions in the 1940s confirmed that in poor weather, the ships discharged their cargoes no more than a few hundred metres offshore.’
      • ‘It depicts a sloop leaving a dock after having discharged a group of passengers.’
      • ‘On July 23, the absence of staff to clear and discharge cargo forced one ship to bypass Tonga.’
      • ‘At the port, a cargo ship docked and discharged heavy trucks of the kind used to carry tanks or other heavy armour.’
      • ‘Ships had to discharge their cargoes at congested anchorages either into horse drawn lighters or onto packhorses for the journey to the industrial centre.’
      • ‘Product from the ship can be discharged onto the existing jetty conveyor or into trucks for transport ashore.’
      • ‘Our ship, The Dominion Monarch, went through the canal and we were discharged at Port Said.’
      unload, offload, empty, unburden, disburden, remove, relieve
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6Allow (an emotion) to be expressed.
      ‘he discharged his resentment in the harmless form of memoirs’
      • ‘How could anyone who cannot discharge negative emotions over a long time not be depressed?’
      • ‘It can also be caused by unemployment as lack of jobs discharges frustration and in certain cases, depression.’
      • ‘He needed to discharge the emotion of the situation: to turn the focus of attention away from himself before he lost his composure entirely and sat down and wept.’
      • ‘He needs to increase the vigour of his cutting and to discharge his feelings in action.’
      • ‘The principle is same in music therapy, which can help patients to discharge harmful emotions inside such as depression, stress and worry.’
  • 3Do all that is required to perform (a duty) or fulfil (a responsibility)

    ‘the bank had failed to discharge its supervisory duties’
    • ‘That was the only time that he was actually unable to perform or discharge the duties of the president.’
    • ‘Why should people not be obliged to discharge their electoral duty.’
    • ‘What about the Minister of Police, who totally failed to discharge his responsibilities?’
    • ‘They also urged her to reshuffle her Cabinet if she found her ministers ineffective in discharging their assigned duties.’
    • ‘Aside from discharging this duty, the Central Bank has a wider responsibility to ensure that public confidence in the financial system is maintained.’
    • ‘While discharging duties, I have taken unpopular decisions in my career, but without an iota of prejudice.’
    • ‘He will have no problem in discharging his duties in that game.’
    • ‘A member of the Parliament is under oath to ‘faithfully discharge the duties’’
    • ‘The petitioners also accused the city's returning officer and chief executive of failing to discharge her duties in accordance with electoral law.’
    • ‘We have to get our politics right as we seek to discharge our duty towards the population.’
    • ‘He used to be a good policeman who never failed to discharge his duty and he perished like a hero.’
    • ‘If you are fit and healthy, do not leave it to others to discharge your duty.’
    • ‘No one had discharged the duties of companionship or fulfilled the obligations of succession as they did.’
    • ‘This venture is basically aimed at grooming the future generations as law abiding and responsible citizens and making them capable of properly discharging their duties to the country.’
    • ‘It also claimed he failed to discharge his duty as an expert witness.’
    • ‘These are the inscriptions found on the memorials of soldiers who laid down their lives while discharging their duties for the nation.’
    • ‘He said he was required to discharge his duty free from interference from any other authority.’
    • ‘For success, all these people are required to discharge their duties.’
    • ‘He has sought to discharge his duties with an awareness of historical responsibilities.’
    • ‘Failure to discharge this duty resulting in injury should be actionable.’
    • ‘On the contrary, she appears to have discharged her duty in that case commendably, and to have been a model of judicial restraint.’
    carry out, perform, conduct, do
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Pay off (a debt)
      ‘the executor must discharge the funeral expenses’
      • ‘He died of gangrene before he could pay, but his son dutifully discharged the debt.’
      • ‘A man who failed to discharge his debts could become the slave of his creditor until he redeemed his debt.’
      • ‘However, I only discharge the debts I lawfully incur.’
      • ‘He said the company would work with the liquidator on ways to discharge its debts to creditors.’
      • ‘The payment of a debt to one of a number of joint creditors discharges a debt owed to them jointly.’
      pay, pay off, pay in full, clear, honour, meet, liquidate, satisfy, defray, make good
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    2. 3.2Release (a party) from a contract or obligation.
      ‘the insurer is discharged from liability from the day of breach’
      • ‘In the end, that was what this arrangement depended upon, that the putative trustee should acquire the property beneficially and be discharged of its obligations.’
      • ‘If the other party fails to discharge the burden, the court would be in a position to decide to accept the evidence of the first party without requiring resort to cross-examination.’
      • ‘Generally the parties are discharged from the performance of any future obligations.’
      • ‘The husband should be able to put a mortgage on the mortgage to discharge all of his obligations to his ex-wife.’
      • ‘If you have already studied the law of contract, you may remember that there are a number of ways in which contracts may be discharged so that parties no longer have any obligations under them.’
      release, liberate, free, set free, let go, let out, allow to leave, let loose, set loose, turn loose
      View synonyms
    3. 3.3Law Relieve (a bankrupt) of residual liability.
      ‘first-time bankrupts are discharged automatically after three years’
      • ‘Currently, bankrupts aren't usually discharged for three years but from next April, this will be cut to a maximum of a year.’
      • ‘From now on, most bankrupts will be automatically discharged after just one year instead of two to three years and, in some cases, discharge could come even earlier.’
      • ‘Currently every first-time bankrupt is discharged automatically either two or three years after the date of the bankruptcy order depending on how much was originally owed.’
      • ‘Most bankrupts could find themselves discharged within a year, an improvement on the current two or three years.’
      • ‘In part it can probably be attributed to the fact that the Enterprise Act has resulted in most bankrupts being automatically discharged after just one year.’
      free from, free of, set free from, release from, liberate from, exempt from, excuse from, absolve from, let off, extricate from, discharge from, unburden of, disburden of, disencumber of
      View synonyms
  • 4Law
    (of a judge or court) cancel (an order of a court)

    ‘the court may discharge a care order on the application of the child’
    • ‘It may well be that in the light of that report the authority will wish to apply to the High Court to discharge the consent order made last year.’
    • ‘However, in an appropriate case the Court may and should discharge the order on its own initiative.’
    • ‘In the circumstances the no order principle should prevail; the court could choose not to discharge the care order.’
    • ‘He sought leave to make an application to discharge the court order made last April.’
    • ‘Secondly, at least in Family Law Act and similar cases, a later court may vary or discharge the order to which the suspended committal is linked, thus setting a limit to the suspension.’
    1. 4.1Cancel (a contract) because of completion or breach.
      ‘an existing mortgage to be discharged on completion’
      • ‘In its broad sense, the term further encompasses the settlement of the obligations, that is, the completion of payment discharging them.’
      • ‘There are enough questions raised by the material for me to conclude that the mortgage should not be discharged on closing.’
      • ‘The respondent's case was that the effect of that void variation was to discharge the contract of sale.’
      • ‘This method of discharging a contract involves a breach by one party of an obligation under the contract which is so fundamental that its breach is tantamount to his repudiating or rejecting the contract as a whole.’
      • ‘Those duties were imposed to ensure that a mortgagee is diligent in discharging his mortgage and returning the property to the mortgagor.’


  • 1The action of discharging someone from a hospital or from the armed forces or police.

    ‘referrals can be discussed before discharge from hospital’
    [count noun] ‘offending policemen receive a dishonourable discharge’
    • ‘Data from community follow-ups were also collected and analyzed for a 24-month period following the subject's discharge from hospital.’
    • ‘Thanks to new Government grants, reducing the numbers of older people awaiting discharge from hospital has been made a priority.’
    • ‘He was examined for permanent impairment 8 months after hospital discharge.’
    • ‘I know, I know - he received an honorable discharge.’
    • ‘And that, I say, is why he received his honorable discharge.’
    • ‘We studied these variables daily until a patient's fever had subsided for three days, then as clinically indicated, and at follow up visits after discharge from hospital.’
    • ‘The patient recovered uneventfully from surgery and had no difficulty swallowing, and he gained a few pounds after discharge from the hospital.’
    • ‘We did not have data on the type of treatment, if any, that patients were receiving after discharge from the hospital.’
    • ‘He remained in the care of his family following his discharge from hospital.’
    • ‘Participants were informed that a questionnaire would be mailed to them within 1 week of their discharge from the hospital.’
    • ‘However, early discharge from the hospital is becoming more common, and many babies are tested within the first 24 hours of life.’
    • ‘Since his hospital discharge, he continues to be seen regularly by the program.’
    • ‘This will greatly benefit children with cancer and speed up their discharge from hospital by ensuring safe care at home.’
    • ‘This may become apparent on discharge from hospital or at the end of treatment - perhaps six months or a year beyond the person's initial diagnosis.’
    • ‘Also, those seriously injured will be brought to this camp on their discharge from the hospital.’
    • ‘But they say that having MRSA will not delay anybody's discharge from the hospital and that there are no special precautions to follow once the patient is home.’
    • ‘Patients were observed for up to 28 days or until hospital discharge.’
    • ‘Following his discharge from the hospital, he was basically immobile for a couple of weeks.’
    • ‘The trust achieved the highest band of performance in emergency re-admission to hospital following discharge.’
    • ‘We diagnosed complications clinically or after investigations and recorded them prospectively until the time of hospital discharge.’
    dismissal, release, removal, ejection, ousting, expulsion, congé
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun]An act of releasing someone from the custody or restraint of the law.
      ‘she was given an absolute discharge after admitting breaking a smoking ban’
      • ‘It is clear that the trial judge focussed on the issue before me, and was aware of the Crown's position with respect to the granting of an absolute discharge.’
      • ‘If convicted, he could face a penalty ranging from 18 months in jail to an absolute discharge with no criminal record.’
      • ‘The trial judge granted an absolute discharge on the marijuana count.’
      • ‘Nor does it make for efficiency as the courts would be cluttered with prosecutions of blameless individuals who would ultimately be dealt with by means of an absolute discharge.’
      • ‘He concluded that in this case, given what occurred and who the appellant was, a discharge was not a sufficiently severe sentence and a fine was more appropriate.’
      release, liberation
      View synonyms
  • 2The action of discharging a liquid, gas, or other substance.

    ‘those germs might lead to vaginal discharge’
    • ‘Waste water discharge into the lagoon has also been banned.’
    • ‘In addition, the long-term discharge of waste water from thousands of small-sized dyeing and finishing plants and foodstuff factories makes the river dark and stinky.’
    • ‘River pollution generally originates from industrial effluent, agricultural run-off, or domestic sewage discharge.’
    • ‘This article focuses on the causes and diagnosis of vaginal discharge and treatment of the most common infective causes.’
    • ‘The rise of factory farms, growing human populations along the coast, and discharge of garbage into the oceans are some of the other threats to sea turtles.’
    • ‘The rapid increase of the sewage, the unqualified discharge of waste water and the misuse of fertilizer all worsened the situation of the water body.’
    • ‘What do we know about this government discharge of effluent?’
    • ‘Similarly, oxygen level had come down substantially in the lake also due to discharge of contaminated water into it.’
    • ‘Developed countries encouraged their cities to save water on the one hand and treat polluted water on the other so as to achieve a zero increase in the amount of water consumption and sewage discharge.’
    • ‘Due to the potential environmental impact of chlorine, most plants now dechlorinate wastewater effluents before discharge.’
    • ‘Attempts to quantify this phenotype would, therefore, lead to gross underestimates and not faithfully represent the occurrence of fluid discharge.’
    • ‘The ‘greens’ say the monitoring facility will be of immense help, as effluent discharge from factories at night cannot be detected.’
    • ‘Also, there has been no discharge of effluent into the swamp for several weeks. The summer has been predominantly hot and dry.’
    • ‘A group of girls presented a project on water pollution and expressed concern over the effluent discharge into river and how it had affected the marine life.’
    • ‘If high fever, excess bleeding or excess vaginal discharge occur, then medical advice should be sought.’
    • ‘‘The public, government, and nonprofits need to do all we can to prevent illegal discharge of oil,’ she said.’
    • ‘The discharge of sewage water into the river severely contaminates the river with coliform bacteria.’
    leak, leaking, emission, release, exuding, oozing, excretion, ejection
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1A substance that has been discharged.
      ‘industrial discharge has turned the river into an open sewer’
      [count noun] ‘a greeny-yellow nasal discharge’
      • ‘The presence of purulent nasal discharge is more likely to result in a physician's prescribing an antibiotic for a patient with acute bronchitis.’
      • ‘A thorough physical examination and lab tests on a sample of discharge from the eye will help the doctor determine the cause of the infection.’
      • ‘There was swelling, tenderness, erythema, and slight purulent discharge from the lesion.’
      • ‘There used to be raw sewage and all kinds of industrial discharge, so the problem has improved.’
      • ‘Ovulation can also be detected by a half-degree drop in body temperature, and a change in vaginal discharge.’
      • ‘You may notice a discharge from your vagina.’
      • ‘The start of the breeding oestrous cycle is marked by a blood stained discharge, which lasts from four to thirteen days and may first be noticed as blood stained spotting on the animal's bed.’
      • ‘Call your child's doctor if nasal discharge turns from clear to yellow, green, or gray.’
      • ‘They are often covered with crusts formed by discharge and faeces, and become infected by a variety of bacteria and fungi.’
      • ‘All patients with spontaneous or unilateral nipple discharge should be referred for surgical evaluation.’
      • ‘An adult patient presents with purulent nasal discharge and maxillary facial pain.’
      • ‘Pressure on the prostate may cause a discharge of pus from the penis.’
      • ‘Symptoms frequently start in the neonatal period and include a chronic nasal discharge or nasal blockage and cough.’
      • ‘The primary lesions were pustulonodular, and at times the patient expressed a bit of milky discharge from the lesions.’
      • ‘His nose exam showed minor mild erythema with clear to yellow nasal discharge.’
      • ‘A yellow white discharge may form and should not be wiped off.’
      • ‘Purulent nipple discharge or persistent discharging sinus may be the rare presenting feature.’
      • ‘If a bacterial infection is the cause, there may be some yellow pus-like discharge from the eye.’
      • ‘The discharge from the animal enclosures, however, pushes the E. coli count even higher, to as much as 75 000.’
      • ‘Physical examination showed an alert newborn, evincing mucoid nasal discharge, and teary eyes.’
      emission, secretion, excretion, exudate, effusion
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Physics The release of electricity from a charged object.
      ‘slow discharge of a condenser is fundamental to oscillatory circuits’
      • ‘An electrostatic discharge protection device can protect a head gimbal assembly circuit from electrostatic discharge.’
      • ‘In addition, full registration of the cartridge reduces track offsets and electrostatic discharge from the cartridge base plate.’
      • ‘It is insensitive to scratches, shock, or electrostatic discharge.’
      • ‘Thus the amount of discharge from the pixel electrode is reduced by the capacitor.’
      • ‘The problem is that when a large electrical discharge occurs, the magnetic pulse produced causes a voltage to be induced in any wires that may be nearby.’
    3. 2.3[count noun]A flow of electricity through air or other gas, especially when accompanied by emission of light.
      ‘a sizzling discharge between sky and turret’
      • ‘A plasma is typically a gaseous discharge containing electrons and positively charged ions.’
      • ‘This discharge could also be accompanied by light and sound, explaining why witnesses report seeing flashing lights and hearing humming noises.’
      • ‘During discharge, electrons flow from the negative electrode to the positive via this ‘external load’, thereby doing electrical work.’
      • ‘Electricity sizzled as smaller electrical discharges went off.’
      • ‘Lightning discharges also generate electromagnetic energy heard on radio receivers as spherics (crackles with very low frequencies), which may be used to locate distant thunderstorms.’
    4. 2.4The action of firing a gun or missile.
      ‘a police permit for discharge of an air gun’
      [count noun] ‘sounds like discharges of artillery’
      • ‘A notice of motion banning the discharge of firearms was passed in Castlebar.’
      • ‘As Valkyrie Two continued through the air, the sound of laser cannon discharge rang out.’
      • ‘Sub-sonic ammunition is necessary for silenced or suppressed firearms to keep the sound of discharge really quiet.’
      • ‘The gun sounded off its discharge at the black car.’
      • ‘These pistols do not have magazine safeties, but they all incorporate internal firing pin blocks to prevent discharge if the pistol is dropped or suffers a similarly sharp blow.’
      • ‘One also prohibited the discharge of projectiles and explosives from balloons.’
      • ‘The thrust of a saber, the firing of a musket, even the discharge of a cannon found easy expression in art.’
      shot, shooting, firing, discharging, explosion, detonation
      View synonyms
    5. 2.5The action of unloading a ship.
      ‘freight for discharge’
      unloading, offloading, unburdening, disburdening, removal, removing, relieving
      View synonyms
  • 3The action of doing all that is required to fulfil a responsibility or perform a duty.

    ‘directors must use skill in the discharge of their duties’
    • ‘‘Crucial to the discharge of this duty is that the courts be, and be seen to be, independent,’ he said.’
    • ‘He has come to his death by violence, and whilst in the discharge of his duty, by men doing an unlawful act.’
    • ‘The Appointment I hold, he said, ‘is in itself sufficient guarantee for the proper discharge of any duties I may have to perform’.’
    • ‘But only a very few discharge their responsibilities independently.’
    • ‘The public also sees the mushrooming of unlicensed health institutions as another lapse in the council's discharge of its duties.’
    • ‘Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, he made it clear that the threats would cease to have any effect on the discharge of his professional duties.’
    • ‘The application of the policy to all applicants ensures fair and equal treatment to applicants and facilitates the Council's discharge of duties.’
    • ‘His Honour then goes on to make plain that the discharge of that duty required the Council to undertake a sanitary survey and then consequential action upon that.’
    • ‘Proportionality refers to the level and extent of force used by combatants in the discharge of their duties.’
    • ‘The discharge of the above responsibilities is no less important than fulfilling our religious duties, and indeed is part of them.’
    • ‘Secondly, we say that the principle is expressly limited in the cases to circumstances where the employer has done all that it could in the discharge of its duty.’
    • ‘Sir, I detect a pattern in our authorities' discharge of their duties towards our roads and traffic management.’
    • ‘Your Honours, that completes what I wanted to say in defence of the jury's faithful discharge of its duty.’
    • ‘The honour is being conferred in recognition of Michaels achieving high office and the exemplary discharge of his responsibilities there.’
    • ‘The Committee is concerned at the reportedly large number of persons killed, wounded or subjected to ill-treatment by members of the police force in the purported discharge of their duties.’
    • ‘Nothing more is required of him in the discharge of his duty to that counsel.’
    • ‘They also believe that the declaration calls for the achievement of the highest morals among leaders in the discharge of their responsibilities or duties.’
    • ‘The faithful discharge of our duty in India is not only a cause, but a symbol.’
    • ‘The goods were taken by the plaintiff's agent to the proper place for examination of them by the defendants in the regular discharge of their duty as custom-house officers.’
    • ‘A patriot is someone, whose pleasure arises from the faithful discharge of his duty to his country.’
    carrying out, performance, performing, conduct, doing
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1The payment of a debt.
      ‘money paid in discharge of a claim’
      • ‘The complaint is maintainable in respect of cheque which is issued in discharge of legally enforceable debt or liability.’
      • ‘The company's assertions in its books of account did not establish the indebtedness of the appellants or any payment of money in discharge of that indebtedness.’
      • ‘One of the two directors of a company paid money in discharge of debts owed by two subsidiary companies and guaranteed by the company in the expectation that the company which benefited thereby would repay him.’
      • ‘Creditors can also contact their county sheriff who can seize and sell on goods belonging to the debtor in discharge of a debt.’
      • ‘In breach of this agreement, a director of the company arranged for the collection of cheques, sent to the company in discharge of book debts due to it, for the credit of the company's current account.’
      payment, repayment, settlement, clearance, clearing, honouring, meeting, liquidation, defraying, making good
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2Law The relief of a bankrupt from residual liability.
      ‘machinery to rehabilitate the bankrupt through the process of discharge’
      • ‘The mortgage debt was included in the bankruptcy discharge.’
      • ‘All that it bears upon is the prospect of, and the time at which, discharge of the liability would occur.’
      • ‘He submits that assets which become the property of the Trustee do not revert to the Bankrupt upon the Bankrupt's discharge.’
      • ‘He further argues that if he is found personally liable, the liability was released by his discharge from bankruptcy.’
      • ‘The act provides for the automatic discharge of bankrupts after a maximum of 12 months (currently two to three years).’
      freedom, release, liberation, deliverance, exemption
      View synonyms
  • 4Law
    The cancellation of an order of a court.

    ‘an application for discharge of a supervision order’
    • ‘In a suitable case an application for discharge of the care order is available.’
    • ‘A motion to consolidate that action with the applications for discharge now before this court was dismissed and the action is proceeding toward trial.’
    • ‘Where applications for the variation, discharge or revocation of final orders are made, judges should consider issuing in public at the conclusion of the case suitably anonymised judgments.’
    • ‘If I make no order, if I make an order, the parties can always come back and either seek further order or seek discharge of the order.’
    • ‘Taking all of the circumstances into account, I exercise my discretion and order the discharge of the Certificate.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘relieve of an obligation’): from Old French descharger, from late Latin discarricare unload, from dis- (expressing reversal) + carricare to load (see charge).