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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An example of a charter (Magna Carta).

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term. Also, charter can simply be a document giving royal permission to start a colony.

The word entered the English language from the Old French charte (ultimately from the Latin word for "paper"), but the concept is universal and transcends language. It has come to be synonymous with the document that lays out the granting of rights or privileges.


Colloquial usages

The term is used for a special case (or as an exception) to an institutional charter. A charter school, for example, is one that has different rules, regulations, and statutes than a state school.

Charter is sometimes used as a synonym for 'rent' or 'lease', as in the 'charter' of a bus or boat by an organization, intended for a similar group destination.

A charter member of an organization is an original member; that is, one who became a member when the organization received its charter.

Different types of charters

Anglo-Saxon Charters are documents from the early medieval period in Britain which typically make a grant of land or record a privilege. They are usually written on parchment, in Latin but often with sections in the vernacular, describing the bounds of estates, which often correspond closely to modern parish boundaries. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s; the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the eighth century surviving charters were increasingly used to grant land to lay people.


Charter colony

The British Empire used to three main types of colonies as it sought to expand its territory to distant parts of the earth. These three types were royal colonies, proprietary colonies, and charter colonies. A charter colony by definition is a "colony…chartered to an individual, trading company, etc., by the British crown."[1] Although charter colonies were not the most prevalent of the three types of colonies in the British Empire, they were by no means insignificant.

Congressional charter

A congressional charter is a law passed by the United States Congress that states the mission, authority and activities of a group. Congress issued federal charters from 1791 until 1992 under Title 36 of the United States Code.

Municipal charter

A municipal corporation is the legal term for a local governing body, including (but not necessarily limited to) cities, counties, towns, townships, charter townships, villages, and boroughs. Municipal incorporation occurs when such municipalities become self-governing entities under the laws of the state or province in which they are located. Often, this event is marked by the award or declaration of a municipal charter.

Project charter

In project management, a project charter or project definition (sometimes called the terms of reference) is a statement of the scope, objectives and participants in a project. It provides a preliminary delineation of roles and responsibilities, outlines the project objectives, identifies the main stakeholders, and defines the authority of the project manager. It serves as a reference of authority for the future of the project. Also a helpful tool in establishing your project goals in a six sigma project.

Royal Charter

In medieval Europe, royal charters were used to create cities (ie, localities with recognised legal rights and privileges). The date that such a charter was granted is considered to be when a city was "founded", regardless of when the locality originally began to be settled.

At one time a royal charter was the only way in which an incorporated body could be formed, but other means (such as the registration process for limited companies) are generally now used instead.

See also

External links

== References ==

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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From Old French chartre, from Latin chartula (diminutif of charta).




charter (plural charters)

  1. a document issued by some authority, creating a public or private institution, and defining its purposes and privileges
  2. a similar document conferring rights and privileges on a person, corporation etc
  3. a contract for the commercial leasing of a vessel, or space on a vessel
  4. the temporary hiring or leasing of a vehicle
  5. a deed



charter (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. leased or hired



to charter

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to charter (third-person singular simple present charters, present participle chartering, simple past and past participle chartered)

  1. (transitive) to grant or establish a charter
  2. (transitive) to lease or hire something by charter

See also





From English charter.


charter m. (plural charters)

  1. a charter flight
  2. a charter plane
  3. a charter pilot




From English charter


charter m. inv.

  1. Charter plane or flight


charter inv.

  1. charter (attributive)


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