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discharge - definition and synonyms

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verb     discharge pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledischarging
past tensedischarged
past participledischarged
  1. 1
    [transitive] [usually passive] to be officially allowed or forced to leave an institution such as a hospital, a prison, or the army

    The child was taken to hospital but was later discharged.

    discharge someone from something:

    After he was discharged from the army, he had intended to return to the world of teaching.

    1. a.
      if someone who has been accused of a crime is discharged, they are judged to be not guilty and officially allowed to leave prison or a court of law

      Baker was discharged after the evidence against her was found to be flawed.

    2. b.
      to allow or force someone to leave an official job or position

      Judge Richard Groves discharged the jury after it had failed to reach a verdict.

      Mr Givens was discharged from the committee and replaced by Mr Benton.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to allow liquid or gas to leave a place, especially when this has harmful effects

    Many cities discharge their sewage into the sea without treating it at all.

    The mercury had been discharged from a local chemical plant.

  3. 3
    [transitive] formal to do everything that needs to be done to perform a duty or responsibility
    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    [transitive] formal to fire a weapon
    Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    [transitive] formal to pay what you owe to someone
    discharge a debt:

    He died owing the bank £10,000, and his widow was unable to discharge the debt.

  6. 6
    [intransitive/transitive] physics if something discharges electricity, or if electricity is discharged, it flows out of that thing
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