- 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 obliges
If the DEA obliges, they may soon be hitting the farming lottery.Kentucky Tells Feds: Hands Off Our Hemp!
May 21, 2014
It also obliges Palestinians to refrain from attacking Israeli military patrols along the Gaza border.Israel and Hamas Strike Peace Deal
November 21, 2012
We start making conversation and she obliges, but then something in the distance catches her eye.Oscars 2011: Red Carpet and Vanity Fair Party Photos
February 27, 2011
This obliges me now-and-then to steal an hour, as I may say, and not let her know how I am employed.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
That is what is unknown to us, and obliges us to suspend our judgment on this question.The Phantom World
That is the circumstance which obliges your government to insist on your co-operation.Watch the Sky
James H. Schmitz
What obliges the person, who wishes me to become surety for him, to need a surety?George Muller of Bristol
Arthur T. Pierson
It obliges nobody to follow me, and I trust it obliges me to follow nobody.The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Six
- (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 obliges
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.