- The definition of oblige is to compel, force or obligate someone to do something by force, or to do as someone wishes, or to be indebted to someone.
- If you require your sister to go to the party or you will tell your parents a secret about her, you oblige her to go to the party.
- If you agree to go to the party when your sister asks, this is an example of when you oblige her.
- If you are grateful to someone for giving you a gift, this is an example of when you are obliged.
transitive verbobliged, obliging
- to compel by moral, legal, or physical force; constrain
- to make indebted for a favor or kindness done; do a favor for
Origin of obligeMiddle English obligen ; from Old French obligier ; from Classical Latin obligare, to bind, oblige ; from ob- (see ob-) + ligare, to bind: see ligature
verbo·bliged, o·blig·ing, o·blig·es
- To compel or require (someone) to do something, as by circumstance or legality: When the power went out, we were obliged to fetch water with a bucket. The contract obliges you to meet the deadline.
- To make indebted or grateful: I am obliged to you for your gracious hospitality.
- To do a service or favor for: They obliged us by arriving early.
Origin of obligeMiddle English obligen, from Old French obligier, from Latin obligāre : ob-, to; see ob– + ligāre, to bind; see leig- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present obliges, present participle obliging, simple past and past participle obliged)
- To constrain someone by force or by social, moral or legal means.
- I am obliged to report to the police station every week.
- To do someone a service or favour (hence, originally, creating an obligation).
- He obliged me by not parking his car in the drive.
- (intransitive) To be indebted to someone.
- I am obliged to you for your recent help.
- (intransitive) To do a service or favour.
- The singer obliged with another song.
"Obliged" has largely replaced "obligate"; the latter being more common in the the 17th through 19th centuries.
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oblige - Legal Definition
- To legally or morally bind; to obligate.
- To bind someone by performing a service for that person.