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At twelve o’clock tutors of all nationalities with their charges in cambric collars descend upon Nevsky Prospekt.

Governesses, pale misses and rosy-cheeked Slav maidens walk in stately fashion behind their lissom, fidgety young charges, instructing them not to drop their shoulders and to keep their backs straight.

Can anyone explain what is the meaning of "charges" in these sentences?

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Here the word "charge" means:

a person or thing entrusted to the care of someone.

Commonly found in classic literature, but not used as often these days, it means persons (usually children) entrusted into the care of someone other than their parents.

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