The charge follows Sunday's Manchester derby which saw City lose 3-2 to a Robin van Persie free-kick in injury time.
It is currently unclear as to what incident the Football Association charge relates to.
An FA statement read: "Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has been charged by The FA for a breach of its Rule E3 in that he used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official following the Manchester City v Manchester United game on Sunday 9 December 2012.
"Barry has until 4pm on Thursday 13 December 2012 to respond to the charge."
The FA is also investigating the incident that saw United defender Rio Ferdinand struck above the eye by a missile as he celebrated United's winner.