Charge is a word with many different meanings.
In science, the concept of charge is derived from the observation of conserved quantum numbers. Various charge-like quantum numbers have been introduced by theories of particle physics, e.g. electric charge for electromagnetic interaction, magnetic charge (currently purely hypothetic), colour charge for gluons, quark charges like strangeness, and isospin for electroweak interactions. In the formalism of particle theories charge-like quantum numbers can be inverted by means of a charge operator called C.
- A criminal charge is a vernacular term for a complaint brought to a court by a prosecuting authority.
- In Group dynamics, Charge (group dynamics) is the build up of negative emotions
- In heraldry, a charge means objects on the shield.
- In munitions and explosives, the charge is the explosive material used, for instance, to propel a bullet or shell, or demolish a structure.
- During the European Middle Ages, a charge often meant an underage person placed under the supervision of a nobleman.
- To charge (warfare) is a maneuver in battle where soldiers rush towards their enemy to engage in close combat.
- In money, a charge (finance) is any fee assessed, such as a charge for using an automatic teller machine (ATM), entering a museum, being late with a payment, etc.