American English

Definition of charge noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] charge (for something) the amount of money that someone asks for goods and services We have to add a small charge for refreshments. admission charges Delivery is free of charge. Thesaurusratecharge fee rent fine fare tollThese are all words for an amount of money that is charged or paid for something.rate a fixed amount of money that is asked or paid for something:a low hourly rate interest ratescharge an amount of money that is asked for goods or services:an admission charge a rental chargefee (somewhat formal) an amount of money that you have to pay for professional advice or services, to go to a school or college, or to join an organization:legal fees an annual membership feerent an amount of money that you regularly have to pay for use of a home or an officefine a sum of money that must be paid as punishment for breaking a law or rule:a parking finefare the money that you pay to travel by bus, plane, taxi, etc.toll an amount of money that you have to pay to use a particular road or bridge.Patterns (a) rate/charge/fee/rent/fine/fare/toll for something (a) rate/charge/fee/rent/toll on something at a rate/charge/fee/rent/fare of… for a charge/fee to pay (a) rate/charge/fee/rent/fine/fare/toll to charge (a) rate/fee/rent/fare/toll
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] (informal) = account Would you like to put that on your charge? “Are you paying cash?” “No, it'll be a charge.”
  3. responsibility
  4. 3[uncountable] a position of having control over someone or something; responsibility for someone or something She has charge of the day-to-day running of the business. They left the au pair in charge of the children for a week. He took charge of the farm after his father's death. I'm leaving the school in your charge.
  5. 4[countable] (formal or humorous) a person that you have responsibility for and care for
  6. of crime/something wrong
  7. 5[countable, uncountable] an official claim made by the police that someone has committed a crime criminal charges a murder/an assault charge He will be sent back to Colorado to face a charge of (= to be on trial for) armed robbery. They decided to drop the charges against the newspaper and settle out of court. After being questioned by the police, she was released without charge. a charge of theft/rape/attempted murder Topic CollocationsCriminal Justicebreaking the law break/violate/obey/uphold the law be investigated/arrested/tried for a crime/a robbery/fraud be arrested/indicted/convicted on felony charges/on charges of rape/fraud be arrested on suspicion of arson/robbery/shoplifting be accused of/be charged with murder/homicide/four counts of fraud face two charges of assault and battery admit your guilt/liability/responsibility (for something) deny the allegations/claims/charges confess to a crime be granted/be refused/be released on/skip/jump bailthe legal process stand/await/bring somebody to/come to/be on trial take somebody to/come to/settle something out of court face/avoid/escape prosecution seek/retain/have the right to/be denied access to legal counsel hold/conduct/attend/adjourn a hearing/trial sit on/influence/persuade/convince/advise a jury stand/appear/be brought before a judge plead guilty/not guilty to a crime be called to/take/put somebody on the stand/the witness stand call/subpoena/question/cross-examine a witness give/hear the evidence against/on behalf of somebody raise/withdraw/overrule an objection reach a unanimous/majority verdict return/deliver/record a verdict of guilty/not guilty convict/acquit the defendant of the crime secure a conviction/your acquittal lodge/file an appeal appeal (against)/challenge/uphold/overturn a conviction/verdictsentencing and punishment sentence somebody to 5 years in prison/2 years' probation carry/face/serve a seven-year/life sentence receive/be given the death penalty be sentenced to ten years (in prison/jail) carry/impose/pay a fine (of $3,000)/a penalty (of 14 years' imprisonment) be imprisoned/jailed for drug possession/fraud/murder do/serve time/ten years be sent to/put somebody in/be released from jail/prison be/put somebody/spend 13 years on death row be granted/be denied/violate (your) parole ⇨ more collocations at crime
  8. 6[countable] a statement accusing someone of doing something wrong or bad synonym allegation She rejected the charge that the story was untrue. Be careful you don't leave yourself open to charges of political bias.
  9. electricity
  10. 7[countable, uncountable] the amount of electricity that is put into a battery or carried by a substance a positive/negative charge
  11. rush/attack
  12. 8[countable] a sudden rush or violent attack, for example by soldiers, wild animals, or players in some sports He led the charge down the field.
  13. explosive
  14. 9[countable] the amount of explosive needed to fire a gun or make an explosion see also depth charge
  15. strong feeling
  16. 10[singular] the power to cause strong feelings the emotional charge of the piano piece
  17. task
  18. 11[singular] (formal) a task or duty His charge was to obtain specific information.
  19. Idioms
    bring/press charges against somebody (law)
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     to accuse someone formally of a crime so that there can be a trial in court
    get a charge out of something
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    to get a strong feeling of excitement or pleasure from something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: charge