What does oblige mean?

Definitions for oblige

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word oblige.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. compel, oblige, obligate(verb)

    force somebody to do something

    "We compel all students to fill out this form"

  2. oblige, bind, hold, obligate(verb)

    bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted

    "He's held by a contract"; "I'll hold you by your promise"

  3. oblige, accommodate(verb)

    provide a service or favor for someone

    "We had to oblige him"


  1. oblige(Verb)

    To constrain someone by force or by social, moral or legal means.

    I am obliged to report to the police station every week.

  2. oblige(Verb)

    To do someone a service or favour (hence, originally, creating an obligation).

    I am obliged to report to the police station every week.

  3. oblige(Verb)

    To be indebted to someone.

    I am obliged to you for your recent help.

  4. oblige(Verb)

    To do a service or favour.

    The singer obliged with another song.

  5. Origin: From Old (and modern) French obliger, from Latin obligare, from ob- + ligare ‘bind’.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Oblige(verb)

    to attach, as by a bond

  2. Oblige(verb)

    to constrain by physical, moral, or legal force; to put under obligation to do or forbear something

  3. Oblige(verb)

    to bind by some favor rendered; to place under a debt; hence, to do a favor to; to please; to gratify; to accommodate

  4. Origin: [OF. obligier, F. obliger, L. obligare; ob (see Ob-) + ligare to bind. See Ligament, and cf. Obligate.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Oblige

    ō-blīj′, v.t. to bind or constrain: to bind by some favour rendered, hence to do a favour to.—adj. Ob′ligable, that can be held to a promise or an undertaking: true to a promise or a contract.—n. Ob′ligant, one who binds himself to another to pay or to perform something.—v.t. Ob′ligāte, to constrain: to bind by contract or duty:—pr.p. ob′ligāting; pa.p. ob′ligāted.n. Obligā′tion, act of obliging: the power which binds to a promise, a duty, &c.: any act which binds one to do something for another: that to which one is bound: state of being indebted for a favour: (law) a bond containing a penalty in case of failure.—adv. Ob′ligatorily.—n. Ob′ligatoriness.—adj. Ob′ligātory, binding: imposing duty.—ns. Obligee (ob-li-jē′), the person to whom another is obliged; Oblige′ment, a favour conferred.—adj. Oblig′ing, disposed to confer favours: ready to do a good turn.—adv. Oblig′ingly.—ns. Oblig′ingness; Ob′ligor (law), the person who binds himself to another. [Fr.,—L. obligāre, -ātumob, before, ligāre, to bind.]

Editors Contribution

  1. Oblige

    To provide support where ethical, necessary and vital.

    They often oblige to ensure unity is the way moving forward.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 12, 2020  

How to pronounce oblige?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say oblige in sign language?

  1. oblige


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of oblige in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of oblige in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of oblige in a Sentence

  1. H. G. Wells:

    There is nothing in machinery, there is nothing in embankments and railways and iron bridges and engineering devices to oblige them to be ugly. Ugliness is the measure of imperfection.

  2. Brian Michael Jenkins:

    The '70s underscored the emergence of this new mode of political expression, this new mode of armed conflict that demonstrated that small groups with a limited capacity for violence could nonetheless achieve these disproportionate effects, they could cause worldwide alarm, they could oblige governments to devote vast resources to security.

  3. Ali Khamenei:

    Islamic values and the country's constitution oblige all bodies of the Islamic Republic to prevent any discrimination and inequality toward Iranians of any ethnicity, race or religion.

  4. Alexander Hamilton:

    In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.

  5. James Madison:

    In framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.

Images & Illustrations of oblige

  1. obligeobligeobligeobligeoblige

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Translations for oblige

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • obligarCatalan, Valencian
  • verpflichten, einen Gefallen tunGerman
  • obligarSpanish
  • imposer, rendre service, obligerFrench
  • lekötelez, kötelezHungarian
  • 義務付ける, 世話, サービス, 恩義Japanese
  • verplichten, een plezier doenDutch
  • [[сде́лать]] [[одолже́ние]], обяза́ть, [[де́лать]] [[одолже́ние]], [[быть]] [[обязанный, обя́зыватьRussian
  • واجبUrdu
  • oblidjîWalloon
  • 责成Chinese

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"oblige." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Mar. 2020. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/oblige>.

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