- to require or constrain, as by law, command, conscience, or force of necessity.
- to bind morally or legally, as by a promise or contract.
- to place under a debt of gratitude for some benefit, favor, or service: I'm much obliged for the ride.
- to put (one) in a debt of gratitude, as by a favor or accommodation: Mr. Weems will oblige us with a song.
- to make (an action, policy, etc.) necessary or obligatory: Your carelessness obliges firmness on my part.
- to be kindly accommodating: I'll do anything within reason to oblige.
Origin of oblige
SynonymsSee more synonyms for oblige on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for oblige
The would-be pope killer loves to be in front of the cameras, and the press in Italy is happy to oblige.Pope-Shooter Ali Agca’s Very Weird Vatican Visit
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 29, 2014
The zoo is blessed with multiple wallabies and was happy to oblige.Ebola's Roots Are 50 Times Older Than Mankind. And That Could Be the Key to Stopping It.
October 20, 2014
To know the Egyptian military is to realize it will not oblige.Leslie H. Gelb on the Democracy-Elections Trap in Egypt
Leslie H. Gelb
July 22, 2013
If Republicans wanted to talk books, Elleithee said, the McAuliffe campaign should be happy to oblige.In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe’s Memoir Comes Back to Haunt Him
May 7, 2013
When little Shona Ritchie plucked up the courage to ask for a peck from Prince William, the future king was happy to oblige.A Kiss From a Prince? Maybe Not....
April 5, 2013
What have you to do to oblige him with your refusal of Mr. Solmes?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
If ever you see George again, sir, you will oblige me by conveying one message.Life in London
You will oblige us extremely by giving a little information.'The Roof of France
Will you oblige me so far as not to appear in the dress of Tancred to-night?Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
Dear, sweet creature, oblige us: and oblige us with a grace.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
- (tr; often passive) to bind or constrain (someone to do something) by legal, moral, or physical means
- (tr; usually passive) to make indebted or grateful (to someone) by doing a favour or servicewe are obliged to you for dinner
- to do a service or favour to (someone)she obliged the guest with a song
Word Origin and History for oblige
c.1300, "to bind by oath," from Old French obligier "engage one's faith, commit (oneself), pledge" (13c.), from Latin obligare "to bind, bind up, bandage," figuratively "put under obligation," from ob "to" (see ob-) + ligare "to bind," from PIE root *leig- "to bind" (see ligament). Main modern meaning "to make (someone) indebted by conferring a benefit or kindness" is from 1560s. Related: obliged; obliging.