[ uh-blahy-jing ]
/ əˈblaɪ dʒɪŋ /
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See synonyms for: obliging / obligingly / obligingness on Thesaurus.com

willing or eager to do favors, offer one's services, etc.; accommodating: The clerk was most obliging.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of obliging

First recorded in 1630–40; oblige + -ing2


o·blig·ing·ly, adverbo·blig·ing·ness, nounun·o·blig·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does obliging mean?

Obliging is used to describe someone who is willing or eager to politely do things for others, such as performing favors or services for them, as in a most obliging host.

It can also describe such a person’s actions, as in We appreciate your obliging service. A close synonym is accommodating.

The word comes from the verb oblige, which commonly means to politely do something for someone, as in He’s the kind of person who’s happy to oblige no matter what the request is.

Oblige also commonly means to require, compel, or constrain, but obliging is not typically used as an adjective in this sense.

Example: You’ve been so obliging—we can’t thank you enough for all your hospitality.

Where does obliging come from?

The first records of the word obliging as an adjective come from the 1630s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb obligāre, meaning “to bind.”

When the verb oblige means “to accommodate,” it often implies that doing so requires some amount of effort by or trouble for the person making such accommodations. Describing someone as obliging often means that they go out of their way to help or serve, and that they do it all the time.

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What are some other forms related to obliging?

What are some synonyms for obliging?

What are some words that share a root or word element with obliging

What are some words that often get used in discussing obliging?

How is obliging used in real life?

Obliging can sound quite formal, especially compared to synonyms like accommodating or hospitable.



Try using oblige!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of obliging?

A. helpful
B. hospitable
C. disagreeable
D. accommodating

How to use obliging in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for obliging

/ (əˈblaɪdʒɪŋ) /

ready to do favours; agreeable; kindly

Derived forms of obliging

obligingly, adverbobligingness, 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