[ uh-blahyj ]
See synonyms for: obligeobligedobliging on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),o·bliged, o·blig·ing.
  1. to require or constrain, as by law, command, conscience, or force of necessity.

  2. to bind morally or legally, as by a promise or contract.

  1. to place under a debt of gratitude for some benefit, favor, or service: I'm much obliged for the ride.

  2. to put (one) in a debt of gratitude, as by a favor or accommodation: Mr. Weems will oblige us with a song.

  3. to make (an action, policy, etc.) necessary or obligatory: Your carelessness obliges firmness on my part.

verb (used without object),o·bliged, o·blig·ing.
  1. to be kindly accommodating: I'll do anything within reason to oblige.

Origin of oblige

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English obligen, from Old French obligier, from Latin obligāre “to bind”; see obligate

synonym study For oblige

4. Oblige, accommodate imply making a gracious and welcome gesture of some kind. Oblige emphasizes the idea of conferring a favor or benefit (and often of taking some trouble to do it): to oblige someone with a loan. Accommodate emphasizes doing a service or furnishing a convenience: to accommodate someone with lodgings and meals.

Other words for oblige

Other words from oblige

  • o·blig·er, noun
  • pre·o·blige, verb (used with object), pre·o·bliged, pre·o·blig·ing.
  • re·o·blige, verb (used with object), re·o·bliged, re·o·blig·ing.

Words that may be confused with oblige

Words Nearby oblige

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use oblige in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for oblige


/ (əˈblaɪdʒ) /

  1. (tr; often passive) to bind or constrain (someone to do something) by legal, moral, or physical means

  2. (tr; usually passive) to make indebted or grateful (to someone) by doing a favour or service: we are obliged to you for dinner

  1. to do a service or favour to (someone): she obliged the guest with a song

Origin of oblige

C13: from Old French obliger, from Latin obligāre, from ob- to, towards + ligāre to bind

Derived forms of oblige

  • obliger, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012