What does charter mean?

Definitions for charter
ˈtʃɑr tərchar·ter

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word charter.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. charternoun

    a document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights; includes the articles of incorporation and the certificate of incorporation

  2. charterverb

    a contract to hire or lease transportation

  3. rent, hire, charter, leaseverb

    hold under a lease or rental agreement; of goods and services

  4. charterverb

    grant a charter to

  5. lease, rent, hire, charter, engage, takeverb

    engage for service under a term of contract

    "We took an apartment on a quiet street"; "Let's rent a car"; "Shall we take a guide in Rome?"


  1. charternoun

    a document issued by some authority, creating a public or private institution, and defining its purposes and privileges

  2. charternoun

    a similar document conferring rights and privileges on a person, corporation etc

  3. charternoun

    a contract for the commercial leasing of a vessel, or space on a vessel

  4. charternoun

    the temporary hiring or leasing of a vehicle

  5. charternoun

    a deed

  6. charterverb

    to grant or establish a charter

  7. charterverb

    to lease or hire something by charter

  8. charteradjective

    leased or hired

  9. Etymology: From chartre, from chartula (diminutif of charta).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Charternoun

    1.A charter is a written evidence of things done between man and man. Charters are divided into charters of the king, and charters of private persons. Charters of the king are those, whereby the king passeth any grant to any person or more, or to any body politick: as a charter of exemption, that no man shall be empannelled on a jury; charter of pardon, whereby a man is forgiven a felony, or other offence. John Cowell

    Etymology: charta, Latin.

    If you deny it, let the danger light
    Upon your charter, and your city’s freedom. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Here was that charter seal’d, wherein the crown
    All marks of arbitrary power lays down. John Denham.

    She shakes the rubbish from her mounting brow,
    And seems to have renew’d her charter ’s date,
    Which heav’n will to the death of time allow. Dryden.

    It is not to be wondered, that the great charter whereby God bestowed the whole earth upon Adam, and confirmed it unto the sons of Noah, being as brief in word as large in effect, hath bred much quarrel of interpretation. Walter Raleigh, Essays.

    God renewed this charter of man’s sovereignty over the creatures. South.

    I must have liberty,
    Withal as large a charter as the wind,
    To blow on whom I please; for so fools have;
    And they that are most gauled with my folly,
    They most must laugh. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    My mother,
    Who has a charter to extol her blood,
    When she does praise me, grieves me. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.


  1. Charter

    A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and it is that sense which is retained in modern usage of the term. The word entered the English language from the Old French charte, via Latin charta, and ultimately from Greek χάρτης (khartes, meaning "layer of papyrus"). It has come to be synonymous with a document that sets out a grant of rights or privileges.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Charternoun

    a written evidence in due form of things done or granted, contracts made, etc., between man and man; a deed, or conveyance

  2. Charternoun

    an instrument in writing, from the sovereign power of a state or country, executed in due form, bestowing rights, franchises, or privileges

  3. Charternoun

    an act of a legislative body creating a municipal or other corporation and defining its powers and privileges. Also, an instrument in writing from the constituted authorities of an order or society (as the Freemasons), creating a lodge and defining its powers

  4. Charternoun

    a special privilege, immunity, or exemption

  5. Charternoun

    the letting or hiring a vessel by special contract, or the contract or instrument whereby a vessel is hired or let; as, a ship is offered for sale or charter. See Charter party, below

  6. Charterverb

    to establish by charter

  7. Charterverb

    to hire or let by charter, as a ship. See Charter party, under Charter, n

  8. Etymology: [OF. chartre, F. chartre, charte, fr. L. chartula a little paper, dim. of charta. See Chart, Card.]


  1. Charter

    A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority, and that the recipient admits a limited status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term. Also, charter can simply be a document giving royal permission to start a colony. The word entered the English language from the Old French charte, but the concept is universal and transcends language. It has come to be synonymous with the document that lays out the granting of rights or privileges.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Charter

    chärt′er, n. any formal writing in evidence of a grant, contract, or other transaction, conferring or confirming titles, rights, or privileges, or the like: the formal deed by which a sovereign guarantees the rights and privileges of his subjects, like the famous Mag′na Chart′a, signed by King John at Runnymede, 15th June 1215, or the Charte of Louis XVIII. at the Restoration in 1814, or that sworn by Louis-Philippe, 29th August 1830: any instrument by which powers and privileges are conferred by the state on a select body of persons for a special object, as the 'charter of a bank:' a patent: grant, allowance: immunity.—v.t. to establish by charter: to let or hire, as a ship, on contract.—p.adj. Chart′ered, granted or protected by a charter: privileged: licensed: hired by contract. [O. Fr. chartre—L. cartula, carta.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. charter

    To charter a vessel is to take her to freight, under a charter-party. The charter or written instrument by which she is hired to carry freight.

Editors Contribution

  1. charter

    A form of official document giving authority, rights and power for a specific purpose.

    The UN charter on the rights of a child are respected.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 16, 2020  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Charter is ranked #22260 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Charter surname appeared 1,158 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Charter.

    87.8% or 1,017 total occurrences were White.
    7.8% or 91 total occurrences were Black.
    1.9% or 22 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 13 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.8% or 10 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 5 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'charter' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4136

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'charter' in Nouns Frequency: #1555

Anagrams for charter »

  1. charret

  2. rechart

  3. ratcher

How to pronounce charter?

How to say charter in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of charter in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of charter in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of charter in a Sentence

  1. Brian Su:

    These discriminatory policies are serious violations against the fundamental human rights of the people of Taiwan, erode the principles of equality, and contradict the charter of the United Nations.

  2. Michael Madden:

    In many ways, Kim Jong Il ruled the country in open violation of the party charter.

  3. Zhang Jun:

    The current situation in Ukraine is the result of many complex factors. China always makes its own position according to the merits of the matter itself. We believe that all countries should solve international disputes by peaceful means in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

  4. Bid Committee:

    While it is only normal for different groups to raise specific interests around major sporting events, we believe in the Olympic Charter's vision to protect the power of sport from political influence.

  5. Thomas F. Bayard:

    Religious liberty is the chief cornerstone of the American system of government, and provisions for its security are embedded in the written charter and interwoven in the moral fabric of its laws. Anything that tends to invade a right so essential and sacred must be carefully guarded against, and I am satisfied that my countrymen, ever mindful of the suffering and sacrifices necessary to obtain it, will never consent to its impairment for any reason or under any pretext whatsoever.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for charter

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for charter »


Find a translation for the charter definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"charter." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/charter>.

Discuss these charter definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for charter? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    large recently extinct long-horned European wild ox; considered one of the ancestors of domestic cattle
    • A. urus
    • B. instigation
    • C. hypostatization
    • D. schlockmeister

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for charter: