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Act of characterizing.

CHAR'AC-TER-IZE, v.t. [Gr. χαρακτηριζω.]

  1. To give a character, or an account of the personal qualities of a man; to describe by peculiar qualities.
  2. To distinguish; to mark, or express the character; to exhibit the peculiar qualities of a person or thing; as, humility characterizes the true christian; the hero is characterized by bravery and magnanimity. The system of mediation has characterized the entire scheme of Divine dispensation. – Thodey.
  3. To engrave or imprint. [Little used.] – Hale.
  4. To mark with a peculiar stamp or figure. European, Asiatic, and African faces are all characterized. – Arbuthnot.


Described or distinguished by peculiar qualities.


Describing or distinguishing by peculiar qualities.


Destitute of any peculiar character. – Shak.


Impression; mark; distinction. [Not used.] – Shak.

CHA-RADE', n. [Said to be from the name of the inventor.]

A composition, in which the subject must be a word of two syllables, each forming a distinct word; and these syllables are to be concealed in an enigmatical description, first separately and then together. Example: My first, when a Frenchman is learning English, serves him to swear by. My second is either hay or corn. My whole is the delight of the age. Gar-rick. – Encyc.

CHAR'COAL, n. [char and coal. See Char.]

Coal made by charring wood; the remains of wood burnt under turf, and from which all watery and other volatile matter has been expelled by heat. It makes a strong heat, and is used in furnaces, forges, private families, &c. It is black, brittle, light and inodorous, and not being decomposable by water or air, will endure for ages without alteration.

CHARD, n. [Fr. charde; L. carduus.]

The leaves of artichokes tied and wrapped all over, except the top, in straw, during autumn and winter. This makes them grow white and lose some of their bitterness. – Chambers. Chards of beet are plants of white beet transplanted, producing great tops, which, in the midst, have a large, white, thick, downy, cotton-like main shoot, which is the true chard. – Mortimer.

CHARGE, n. [Fr. charge; Arm. and W. carg; Sp. carga, cargo; Port. carga, carrega; It. carica, carco; Eng. cargo.]

  1. That which is laid on or in; in a general sense, any load or burden. It is the same word radically as cargo.
  2. The quantity of powder, or of powder and ball or shot, used to load a musket, cannon, or other like instrument.
  3. An onset; a rushing on an enemy; attack; especially by moving troops with fixed bayonets. But it is used for an onset of cavalry as well as of infantry.
  4. An order, injunction, mandate, command. Moses gave Joshua a charge. – Numb. xxvii. The king gave charge concerning Absalom. – 2 Sam. xviii. Hence,
  5. That which is enjoined, committed, intrusted or delivered to another, implying care, custody, oversight, or duty to be performed by the person intrusted. I gave Hanani charge over Jerusalem. – Neh. vii. Hence the word includes any trust or commission; an office, duty, employment. It is followed by of or over; more generally by of. Hence,
  6. The person or thing committed to another's custody, care or management; a trust. Thus the people of a parish are called the minister's charge. The starry guardian drove his charge away To some fresh pasture. – Dryden.
  7. Instructions given by a judge to a jury, or by a bishop to his clergy. The word may be used as synonymous with command, direction, exhortation or injunction, but always implies solemnity.
  8. Imputation in a bad sense; accusation. Lay not this sin to their charge. – Acts vii.
  9. That which constitutes debt, in commercial transactions; an entry of money or the price of goods, on the debit side of an account.
  10. Cost; expense; as, the charges of the war are to be borne by the nation.
  11. Imposition on land or estate; rent, tax, or whatever constitutes a burden or duty.
  12. In military affairs, a signal to attack; as to sound the charge.
  13. The posture of a weapon fitted for an attack or combat. Their armed slaves in charge. – Shak.
  14. Among farriers, a preparation of the consistence of a thick decoction, or between an ointment and a plaster, used as a remedy for sprains and inflammations.
  15. In heraldry, that which is borne upon the color; or the figures represented on the escutcheon, by which the bearers are distinguished from one another.
  16. In electrical experiments, a quantity of electrical fluid, communicated to a coated jar, vial or pane of glass.
  17. In painting, charge or overcharge is an exaggeration of character in form, color or expression. – Elmes. A charge of lead, is thirty-six pigs, each containing six stone, wanting two pounds.

CHARGE, v.i.

To make an onset. Thus Glanville says, “like your heroes of antiquity, he charges in iron;” and we say, to charge with fixed bayonets. But in this application, the object is understood; to charge the enemy.

CHARGE, v.t. [charj; Fr. charger; Arm. carga; Sp. cargar; It. caricare, or carcare; Port. carregar. It would seem from the Welsh, that this word is from car, a cart or other vehicle, and that the noun charge or cargo was first formed, and therefore ought in arrangement to precede the verb. If the verb was first formed, the primary sense would be to load, to throw or put on or in. I think the fact to be otherwise. See Cargo.]

  1. To rush on; to fall on; to attack, especially with fixed bayonets; as, an army charges the enemy.
  2. To load, as a musket or cannon; to thrust in powder, or powder and ball or shot.
  3. To load or burden; to throw on or impose that which oppresses; as, to charge the stomach with indigestible food; or to lay on, or to fill, without oppressing; as, to charge the memory with rules and precepts; to charge the mind with facts.
  4. To set or lay on; to impose, as a tax; as, the land is charged with a quit rent; a rent is charged on the land.
  5. To lay on or impose, as a task. The gospel chargeth us with piety toward God. – Tillotson.
  6. To put or lay on; as, to charge a building with ornaments, often implying superfluity.
  7. To lay on, as a duty; followed by with. The commander charged the officer with the execution of the project. See Gen. xl. 4.
  8. To intrust to; as, an officer is charged with dispatches.
  9. To set to, as a debt; to place on the debit side of an account; as, to charge a man with the price of goods sold to him.
  10. To load or lay on in words, something wrong, reproachful or criminal; to impute to; as, to charge a man with theft.
  11. To lay on in words; to impute to; followed by on before the person; as, to charge a crime on the offender; to charge evil consequences on the doctrines of the stoics.
  12. To censure; to accuse. In all this, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. – Job i.
  13. To lay on, give or communicate, as an order, command, or earnest request; to enjoin; to exhort. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded. – 1 Tim. vi. In this sense, when the command is given in the name of God, or with an oath, the phrase amounts to an adjuration. To adjure; to bind by an oath. – 1 Sam. xiv. 28.
  14. To give directions to; to instruct authoritatively; as, the judge charged the grand jury to inquire respecting breaches of the peace.
  15. To communicate electrical matter to; as, to a coated vial, or an electrical battery.


  1. That may be charged; that may be set, laid, imposed; as, a duty of forty per cent is chargeable on wine.
  2. Subject to be charged; as, wine is chargeable with a duty of forty per cent.
  3. Expensive; costly; as, a chargeable family.
  4. Laying or bringing expense. Because we would not be chargeable to any of you. – 1 Thess. ii.
  5. Imputable; that may be laid or attributed as a crime, fault, or debt; as a fault chargeable on a man.
  6. Subject to be charged or accused; as, a man chargeable, with a fault, or neglect.


Expensiveness; cost; costliness. – Boyle.


Expensively; at great cost. – Ascham.


Loaded; burdened; attacked; laid on; instructed; imputed; accused; placed to the debt; ordered; commanded.


A person intrusted with the public interest in a foreign nation, in the place of an embassador or other minister.


Expensive; costly. [Not used.] – Shak.


Not expensive; free from expense.


  1. In Scots law, one who charges another in a suit.
  2. A large dish. – Num. vii.
  3. A horse used for attack.


Loading; attacking; laying on; instructing; commanding; accusing; imputing.

CHA'RI-LY, adv. [See Chary.]

Carefully; warily; fragally. [Little used.] – Shak.


Caution; care; nicety; scrupulousness. [Little used.] – Shak.

CHAR'ING, ppr. [for Choring.]

Doing chores, is used by Coleridge.

CHAR'I-OT, n. [Fr. chariot, from char, a car, – which see; Sp. It. carro; It. carretta.]

  1. A half coach; a carriage with four wheels and one seat behind, used for convenience and pleasure.
  2. A car or vehicle used formerly in war, drawn by two or more horses, and conveying two men each. These vehicles were sometimes armed with hooks or sythes.