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Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[uh-blahy-jing] /əˈblaɪ dʒɪŋ/
willing or eager to do favors, offer one's services, etc.; accommodating:
The clerk was most obliging.
Origin of obliging
1630-40; oblige + -ing2
Related forms
obligingly, adverb
obligingness, noun
unobliging, adjective
1. helpful, kind, friendly.


[uh-blahyj] /əˈblaɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), obliged, obliging.
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.
verb (used without object), obliged, obliging.
to be kindly accommodating:
I'll do anything within reason to oblige.
1250-1300; Middle English obligen < Old French obligier < Latin obligāre to bind. See obligate
Related forms
[uh-blahy-jid-lee] /əˈblaɪ dʒɪd li/ (Show IPA),
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.
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for obliging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The obliging Lark boosted her sister up, and Carol nimbly scrambled into place, riding astride.

  • Tis but pulling off our masks, and obliging Vainlove to know us.

  • So might it be possible to ascribe to particular months the tokens with which the obliging sea bestrews the beaches.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • It was only my chaff; but, unfortunately, it is only too true that I am prevented from obliging you.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • They spent a delightful hour viewing the points of 154 interest in the city, which the obliging driver pointed out to them.

    Patty's Summer Days Carolyn Wells
  • "I'll bring him;" and Polly departed with most obliging alacrity.

    An Old-fashioned Girl Louisa May Alcott
  • Should any extraordinary event have detained him, you will be so obliging as to mention this as my apology.

British Dictionary definitions for obliging


ready to do favours; agreeable; kindly
Derived Forms
obligingly, adverb
obligingness, noun


(transitive; often passive) to bind or constrain (someone to do something) by legal, moral, or physical means
(transitive; usually passive) to make indebted or grateful (to someone) by doing a favour or service: we are obliged to you for dinner
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 obliging

"willing to do service or favors," 1630s, present participle adjective from oblige. Related: Obligingly.



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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