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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



charter n

[Old French chartre letter, formal document, from Late Latin chartula, from Latin, diminutive of charta sheet of papyrus]
1 a : a grant or guarantee of rights, powers, or privileges from an authority or agency of a state or country [a state bank ] compare constitution
b : a written instrument that creates and defines the powers and privileges of a city, educational institution, or corporation compare articles of incorporation
2 : a written instrument from the authorities of a society creating a lodge, branch, or chapter
3 : a lease of a ship esp. for the delivery of cargo called also charter party
vt 1 : to establish, enable, or convey by charter [ a bank]
2 : to lease or hire for usually exclusive and temporary use [ a ship]

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

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