Definition of charter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtʃɑːtə/


1A written grant by the sovereign or legislative power of a country, by which a body such as a borough, company, or university is created or its rights and privileges defined: the town received a charter from the Emperor
More example sentences
  • In 1794 the legislature granted the charter, creating one of the four earliest academies in New Hampshire.
  • The merchant guilds they formed controlled markets, weights and measures, and tolls, and negotiated charters granting their towns borough status.
  • Many borough charters enhanced the privileges of communities now resident at long-established trading centres, including of course royal burghs of the Anglo-Saxon period.
authority, authorization, sanction, covenant, dispensation, consent, permission, sufferance;
prerogative, privilege, right
Law , historical droit
permit, licence, warrant, warranty, deed, bond, document, indenture;
concession, franchise, privilege
1.1A written constitution or description of an organization’s functions: the impending review of the BBC’s Charter
More example sentences
  • All over Europe the basic patterns were established in all the early medieval kingdoms in terms both of the functions of the charters and of the social organization supporting their production and use in the localities.
  • While the charter served a treaty-like function during the baronial wars, its reissue in time of peace established it as a basis of government.
  • They see proposals for a constitutional charter of rights as a frontal attack on their very notion of the rule of law and of the legitimate judicial method, as they see it.
constitution, code, canon, body of law, system of rules;
fundamental principles, rules, laws
1.2 [with modifier] (In the UK) a written statement of the rights of a specified group of people: the standard set by the patient’s charter
More example sentences
  • One of the tenets in the chamber of commerce charter states that employees should be able to handle complaints.
  • Sites were interrogated to find whether they included promises of good practice, customer care charters, data protection statements or information about complaints and appeals procedures.
  • Today's white paper will set out a 10-point customer commitment charter aimed at recruiting the public in the battle against crime and anti social behaviour in their area.
1.3 (a charter for) British A policy or law regarded as enabling people to engage more easily in a specified undesirable activity: he described the act as a charter for vandals
More example sentences
  • This is a charter for the rich who don't care, for firms blithe enough to bung it on to their fees, for unions powerful enough to make the employer stump up.
2 [mass noun] The hiring of an aircraft, ship, or motor vehicle for a special purpose: a plane on charter to a multinational company
More example sentences
  • If the entire plane is hired on charter, fares are reduced to even less than half.
  • The Ministry of Defence currently has two such ships on charter and may continue to operate these.
  • It is very difficult, if not impossible, to compare the rates earned by ships under charter to the Navy Board with those of merchant ships carrying civilian cargoes.
hire, hiring, lease, leasing, rent, rental, renting, booking, reservation, reserving
dated engaging, engagement
rare bespeaking
2.1 [count noun] A ship or vehicle that is hired: the fifty foot charter Capricorn will join the team
More example sentences
  • With tickets on public transport in such short supply, church and community groups from across Poland are organizing their own charters.
  • Dive charters are organised between April and October at a cost of approx £750 all-inclusive for ten days.
  • Those who hire a charter have no such liability.
2.2 [count noun] A trip made by a ship or vehicle under hire: he liked to see the boat sparkling clean before each charter
More example sentences
  • Through a series of charters and fishing trips I worked my way through the islands and back to mainland, arriving in Belize.
  • It's only really a practical destination from a charter or from a trip based in Normandy.
  • While golf charters on smaller ships have been successful, some upscale lines with medium to large ships have replaced outside operators with their own programs.


[with object]
1 (usually as adjective chartered) Grant a charter to (a city, university, or other body): chartered corporations
More example sentences
  • Finally, the business development driven corporate university is chartered to help develop business opportunities.
  • Leaders of both institutions, which are side by side in Great Horton Road, hope the new chartered university will be more than the sum of its parts.
  • Leaders hope the new chartered university would be more successful in attracting both funding and new students.
2Hire (an aircraft, ship, or motor vehicle): he immediately chartered a plane to take him to Paris
More example sentences
  • Bermudans, said their skipper Clay Smith, are already chartering aircraft for the debut on the biggest of stages.
  • Previously, the few American companies that shipped goods to Cuba chartered foreign vessels.
  • Shipping companies agree to charter their ships at an agreed rate at a certain time in the future.
hire, lease, rent, pay for the use of, book, reserve
dated engage
rare bespeak


Middle English: from Old French chartre, from Latin chartula, diminutive of charta 'paper' (see card1).

Words that rhyme with charter

barter, Bata, cantata, carter, cassata, chipolata, ciabatta, darter, desiderata, errata, garter, imprimatur, Inkatha, Jakarta, Magna Carta, Maratha, martyr, Odonata, passata, persona non grata, rata, Renata, Río de la Plata, serenata, sonata, Sparta, starter, strata, taramasalata, tartar, Tatar, Zapata

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Line breaks: char|ter

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