Definition - Noun
1 a  : the act of relieving of something that burdens or oppresses
: See also release
b  : something that discharges or releases
: a certification of or a document proving release or payment
2  : the state of being discharged or released <a party seeking a total ~>
3  : release from confinement <ordering a conditional ~ of the alien on habeas corpus ­Harvard Law Review>
4  : the act of removing an obligation or liability (as by payment of a debt or performance of a duty)
5 a  : a dismissal from employment or office

Definition - Transitive Verb
1  : to release from an obligation: as
a  : to relieve of a duty under an instrument (as a contract or a negotiable instrument)
: to render (an instrument) no longer enforceable <a formal instrument...may be discharged by either cancellation or surrender ­J. D. Calamari and J. M. Perillo>
b  : to release (a debtor in bankruptcy) from liability for his or her debts
2  : to release from confinement, custody, or care <~ a prisoner>
3 a  : to dismiss from employment
: terminate the employment of
b  : to release from service or duty <~ a jury> <~ a witness>
4 a  : to get rid of (as a debt or obligation) by performing an appropriate action
b  : to fulfill a requirement for <evidence which is required to ~ the burden of going forward ­W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.>
5  : to order (a legislative committee) to end consideration of a bill in order to bring it before the house for action
Pronunciationdis-'chärj, 'dis-"chärj

Pronunciation Key

  • \&\ as a and u in a b ut
  • \[^&]\ as e in kitt en
  • \&r\ as ur and er in f urther
  • \a\ as a inash
  • \A\ as a in ace
  • \?\ as o in m op
  • \au\ as ou in ou t
  • \ch\ as ch in ch in
  • \e\ as e in bet
  • \E\ as ea in easy
  • \g\ as g in go
  • \i\ as i in hit
  • \I\ as i in ice
  • \j\ as j in job
  • \[ng]\ as ng in sing
  • \O\ as o in go
  • \o\ as aw in law
  • \oi\ as oy in boy
  • \th\ as th in thin
  • \[th_]\ as thin the
  • \?\ as oo in loot
  • \u\ as oo in foot
  • \y\ as y in yet
  • \zh\ as si in vision

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Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.