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.
The word entered the English language from the Old French chartre (ultimately from the Latin word for "paper"), but the concept is universal and transcends language. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Old French was the Romance Dialect continuum spoken in territories which span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It has come to be synonymous with the document that lays out the granting of rights or privileges.
Charters were the fundamental documents of the highly-structured, hierarchical system of Western feudalism. A book of hours is the most common type of surviving Medieval Illuminated manuscript. Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe Political system composed They were the instruments by which the possessor of a fiefdom (the lord) granted rights to vassals. Under the system of Feudalism, a fiefdom, fief, feud, feoff, or fee, often consisted of inheritable lands or revenue-producing A vassal (also called feodary or fedary) in the terminology that both preceded and accompanied the feudalism of Medieval Europe, This was typically for land, but might include anything, such as the right to incorporate a town or university, the right to hold a weekly market, or even the right to levy a toll on a road or bridge. There might be a payment specified or constraints applied, or the grant might be outright.
At the top of the feudal hierarchy was a monarch whose inherent possessions were termed inter regalia (from inter, 'among' and regalia, 'things of the king'). This might include property, privileges, or prerogatives, of which there were two kinds:
Once a grant was received, its value might be divided repeatedly in succession, each documented in a charter. Thus, a monarch might grant a large section of land to someone of the upper nobility (who was the vassal of the monarch), who might then subdivide the land among several of the lesser nobility (who were vassals to the upper nobility), who might then subdivide their sections of land among several tenants (who were vassals to the lesser nobility). Nobility is a government-privileged title which may be either hereditary (see Hereditary titles) or for a lifetime At each stage, the granter might attach conditions, such as requirements for military service, or payment of an annual duty.
As legislative bodies (such as parliaments) gained political power and obtained rights in their own name, they continued the custom of granting charters in the same fashion. TalkParliament#Screen-size. -->A  parliament is a Legislature, especially in those The only difference was that legislatures now played the role of sovereign. As society has evolved, institutions that were once considered as requiring specific permission (such as towns, schools, and corporations) have become commonplace, and procedures have been streamlined such that if certain pre-specified conditions are met, the institutions are "chartered" almost automatically. That the procedures and conditions are pre-set does not alter the fact that the institutions are operating under a charter no different than if the charter had been specifically crafted for a single case.
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 public school. Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools in the United States that receive public money but
Charter is sometimes used as a synonym for 'rent' or 'lease', as in the 'charter' of a bus or boat by an organization.
A charter member of an organization is an original member; that is, one who became a member when the organization received its charter.
Any organization with a stated purpose or stated rules might be considered to have a charter, whether sanctioned by others or not.