ob·lige [oblige obliges obliged obliging] BrE [əˈblaɪdʒ] NAmE [əˈblaɪdʒ] verb (formal)
1. transitive, usually passive ~ sb to do sth to force sb to do sth, by law, because it is a duty, etc
• Parents are obliged by law to send their children to school.
• I felt obliged to ask them to dinner.
• He suffered a serious injury that obliged him to give up work.
2. intransitive, transitive to help sb by doing what they ask or what you know they want
• Call me if you need any help— I'd be happy to oblige.
• ~ sb (with sth) Would you oblige me with some information?
• ~ sb (by doing sth) Oblige me by keeping your suspicions to yourself.
Middle English (in the sense ‘bind by oath’): from Old French obliger, from Latin obligare, from ob- ‘towards’ + ligare ‘to bind’.
• The fans were looking for another goal and Owen duly obliged.
• The staff are always happy to oblige.
• Will you oblige by filling in this form?
• Would you be willing to oblige us with some information?
• Employees should not feel obliged to work extra hours.
• In the UK, you are not obliged to carry any form of identification.
• Ministers are obliged to declare their personal interests.
• She was annoyed that she had felt obliged to explain.
• Suppliers aren't legally obliged to provide a warranty.
• The landlord is obliged to give tenants 24 hours' notice of a visit.
• We felt obliged to sit with them.
1. force somebody to do something
- We compel all students to fill out this form
Syn: compel, obligate
- They oblige him to write the letter
2. bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
- He's held by a contract
- I'll hold you by your promise
Syn: bind, hold, obligate
Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
|v. t.||1.||To attach, as by a bond.|
[imp. & p. p. Obliged
He had obliged all the senators and magistrates firmly to himself.
|2.||To constrain by physical, moral, or legal force; to put under obligation to do or forbear something.|
The obliging power of the law is neither founded in, nor to be measured by, the rewards and punishments annexed to it.
Religion obliges men to the practice of those virtues which conduce to the preservation of our health.
|3.||To bind by some favor rendered; to place under a debt; hence, to do a favor to; to please; to gratify; to accommodate.|
Thus man, by his own strength, to heaven would soar,
And would not be obliged to God for more.
The gates before it are brass, and the whole much obliged to Pope Urban VIII.
I shall be more obliged to you than I can express.
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