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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Discharge

discharge vt

1 : to release from an obligation: as
a : to relieve of a duty under an instrument (as a contract or a negotiable instrument)
;also
: to render (an instrument) no longer enforceable [a formal instrument…may be discharged by either cancellation or surrender "J. D. Calamari and J. M. Perillo"]
b : to release (a debtor in bankruptcy) from liability for his or her debts
2 : to release from confinement, custody, or care [ a prisoner]
3 a : to dismiss from employment
: terminate the employment of
b : to release from service or duty [ a jury] [ a witness]
4 a : to get rid of (as a debt or obligation) by performing an appropriate action
b : to fulfill a requirement for [evidence which is required to the burden of going forward "W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr."]
5 : to order (a legislative committee) to end consideration of a bill in order to bring it before the house for action
dis·charge·abil·i·ty [dis-chÄ r-jə-bi-lə-tē]
n

dis·charge·able [dis-chÄ r-jə-bəl]
adj

[dis-chÄ rj] n 1 a : the act of relieving of something that burdens or oppresses
: release
b : something that discharges or releases
;esp
: a certification of or a document proving release or payment
2 : the state of being discharged or released [a party seeking a total ]
3 : release from confinement [ordering a conditional of the alien on habeas corpus "Harvard Law Review "]
4 : the act of removing an obligation or liability (as by payment of a debt or performance of a duty)
5 a : a dismissal from employment or office

constructive discharge
: discharge of an employee effected by making the employee's working conditions so intolerable that he or she reasonably feels compelled to resign

retaliatory discharge
: a wrongful discharge that is done in retaliation for an employee's conduct (as reporting an employer's criminal activity) and that clearly violates public policy

wrongful discharge
: discharge of an employee for illegal reasons or for reasons that are contrary to public policy (as in retaliation for the employee's refusal to engage in unlawful activity)
b : a release from service or duty



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.