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To liberate or free; to terminate or extinguish. A discharge is the act or instrument by which a contract or agreement is ended. A mortgage is discharged if it has been carried out to the full extent originally contemplated or terminated prior to total execution.

Discharge also means to release, as from legal confinement in prison or the military service, or from some legal obligation such as jury duty, or the payment of debts by a person who is bankrupt. The document that indicates that an individual has been legally released from the military service is called a discharge.

The performance of a duty discharges it. An attorney may speak of discharging a legal obligation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


v. 1) to perform one's duties. 2) to dismiss someone from a job. 3) to pay one's debts or obligations. 4) in bankruptcy, to issue an order of the court that all debts (with certain statutory exceptions) are forgiven and need not be paid.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


1 in any obligation, the termination of that obligation without liability on either party. In the Scots law of contract, discharge maybe by performance or novation, compensation, confusion, acceptance payment or delegation.
2 in the law of NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS a bill of exchange is discharged when all rights of action thereon are extinguished. It then ceases to be negotiable, and if it subsequently comes into the hands of a holder in due course he acquires no right of action on the instrument. A bill is discharged by payment in due course.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

DISCHARGE, practice. The act by which a person in confinement, under some legal process, or held on an accusation of some crime or misdemeanor, is set at liberty; the writing containing the order for his being so set at liberty, is also called a discharge.
     2. The discharge of a defendant, in prison under a ca. sa., when made by the plaintiff, has the operation of satisfying the debt, the plaintiff having no other remedy. 4 T. R. 526. But when the discharge is in consequence of the insolvent laws, or the defendant dies in prison, the debt is not satisfied. In the first place the plaintiff has a remedy against the property of the defendant, acquired after his discharge, and, in the last case, against the executors or administrators of the debtor. Bac. Ab. Execution, D; Bingh. on Execution, 266.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Facilities discharging to publicly owned treatment works, or existing indirect discharges, were required to comply with pretreatment standards for existing sources (PSES) by Oct 31, 1988.
To evaluate the accuracy and timeliness, the team asks the discharging nurse to note any issues with the summary's accuracy or timely signature by a provider.
Crews finished discharging the Maersk Alaska on July 19.
Obviously, discharging plastic pellets from a bulk bag is a much easier task than discharging packed, smearable sub-micron sized zinc oxide.
Batch discharging simply requires that a given amount of material be discharged within a maximum time frame.
The laws and court decisions force businesses to exercise care when discharging employees.
Date: Tomorrow Ship name: Pointe du Comoran Where from: Lavera Cargo: Caustic Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cardiff Date: Tomorrow Ship name: Welsh Piper Where from: Unknown Cargo: Sand Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cardiff Date: Friday Ship name: Star Marian Where from: Unknown Cargo: Coke Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cardiff Date: Friday Ship name: Humel Where from: Immingham Cargo: Tanker Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cardiff Date: Friday Ship name: Unknown Where from: Netherlands Cargo: Grit Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cardiff Date: Friday Ship name: Unknown Where from: Seville Discharging / Loading: D Where: Cargo: Steel