The chloride ion is formed when the element chlorine picks up one electron to form an anion (negatively-charged ion) Cl-. The salts of hydrochloric acid HCl contain chloride ions and can also be called chlorides. An example is table salt, which is sodium chloride with the chemical formula NaCl. In water, it dissolves into Na+ and Cl- ions.
The word chloride can also refer to a chemical compound in which one or more chlorine atoms are covalently bonded in the molecule. This means that chlorides can be either inorganic or organic compounds. The simplest example of an inorganic covalently-bonded chloride is hydrogen chloride, HCl. A simple example of an organic covalently-bonded (an organochloride) chloride is chloromethane (CH3Cl), often called methyl chloride.