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oblige

[uh-blahyj] /əˈblaɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), obliged, obliging.
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.
3.
to place under a debt of gratitude for some benefit, favor, or service:
I'm much obliged for the ride.
4.
to put (one) in a debt of gratitude, as by a favor or accommodation:
Mr. Weems will oblige us with a song.
5.
to make (an action, policy, etc.) necessary or obligatory:
Your carelessness obliges firmness on my part.
verb (used without object), obliged, obliging.
6.
to be kindly accommodating:
I'll do anything within reason to oblige.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English obligen < Old French obligier < Latin obligāre to bind. See obligate
Related forms
obligedly
[uh-blahy-jid-lee] /əˈblaɪ dʒɪd li/ (Show IPA),
adverb
obligedness, noun
obliger, noun
preoblige, verb (used with object), preobliged, preobliging.
reoblige, verb (used with object), reobliged, reobliging.
unobliged, adjective
Can be confused
coerce, compel, constrain, force, oblige (see synonym study at the current entry)
obligate, oblige.
Synonyms
1. compel, force. 2. obligate. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for oblige
  • We were more than happy to oblige, and these small squid were a perfect size.
  • The nation had the energy and will to test its limits, and the technology was ready to oblige.
  • And camera vendors are happy to oblige, as profit margins are always better on accessories.
  • Restaurants oblige by name-checking the farmers responsible for our pork chop and the tender turnip shoots lying alongside.
  • People want a past, and there are lots of enterprises that exist to oblige them.
  • Bees, wasps, and house flies usually eventually oblige.
  • It is more that one who doesn't oblige his deadline or his narcissism is a tree falling in a clearing with no sentient witness.
  • The ability to fly would offer advantages to human beings, but so far evolution has failed to oblige.
  • And males remain eager to oblige until a certain point.
  • The former makes good sense, the latter was a gesture of nobles oblige.
British Dictionary definitions for oblige

oblige

/əˈblaɪdʒ/
verb
1.
(transitive; often passive) to bind or constrain (someone to do something) by legal, moral, or physical means
2.
(transitive; usually passive) to make indebted or grateful (to someone) by doing a favour or service: we are obliged to you for dinner
3.
to do a service or favour to (someone): she obliged the guest with a song
Derived Forms
obliger, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French obliger, from Latin obligāre, from ob- to, towards + ligāre to bind
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
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Word Origin and History for oblige
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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