Definition of charter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈCHärdər/


1A written grant by a country’s legislative or sovereign power, by which an institution such as a company, college, or city is created and its rights and privileges defined.
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, dispensation, consent, permission;
permit, license, warrant, franchise
1.1A written constitution or description of an organization’s functions.
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;
fundamental principles, rules, laws
2The reservation of an aircraft, boat, or bus for private use: 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
2.1An aircraft, boat, or bus that is reserved for private use.
Example sentences
  • He left with his security detail on an aircraft we provided, not a military aircraft, a civilian charter.
  • At present, there are about 7 licensed sea-going passenger boats available for charter in Mayo, based as far apart as Achill and Killala.
  • They are available for private charter (recent clients include Tiger Woods).
2.2A trip made by an aircraft, boat, or bus under charter: 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]
1Grant a charter to (a city, college, or other institution): the company was chartered in 1553
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.
2Reserve (an aircraft, boat, or bus) for private use: he 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;
book, reserve


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: char·ter

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