See also: Obligation
From Middle English obligacioun, from Old French obligacion, from Latin obligatio, obligationem, from obligatum (past participle of obligare), from ob- (“to”) + ligare (“to bind”), from Proto-Indo-European *leyǵ- (“to bind”).
obligation (countable and uncountable, plural obligations)
- The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie to someone.
- A social, legal, or moral requirement, duty, contract, or promise that compels someone to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
- I feel I'm under obligation to attend my sister's wedding, even though we have a very frosty relationship.
- 2021 January 5, Luttig, J. Michael, Twitter, archived from the original on 05 January 2021; republished as Washington Post, January 5, 2021:
- The only responsibility and power of the Vice President under the Constitution is to faithfully count the electoral college votes as they have been cast.
The Constitution does not empower the Vice President to alter in any way the votes that have been cast, either by rejecting certain of them or otherwise.
How the Vice President discharges this constitutional obligation is not a question of his loyalty to the President any more than it would be a test of a President’s loyalty to his Vice President
whether the President assented to the impeachment and prosecution of his Vice President for the commission of high crimes while in office.
No President and no Vice President would—or should—consider either event as a test of political loyalty of one to the other.
And if either did, he would have to accept that political loyalty must yield to constitutional obligation.
Neither the President nor the Vice President has any higher loyalty than to the Constitution.
- A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which someone is bound or restricted.
- (law) A legal agreement stipulating a specified action or forbearance by a party to the agreement; the document containing such agreement.
- December 19 1668, James Dalrymple, “The Deciſions of the Lords of Council & Seſſion”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), Edinburgh, page 575:
- The Pupil after his Pupillarity, had granted a Diſcharge to one of the Co-tutors, which did extinguiſh the whole Debt of that Co-tutor, and conſequently of all the reſt, they being all correi debendi, lyable by one individual Obligation, which cannot be Diſcharged as to one, and ſtand as to all the reſt.
- The fact of being obliged to, that is, grateful for, something.
- 1927, Havelock Ellis, chapter 2, in Studies in the Psychology of Sex:
- I am indebted to several friends for notes, observations, and correspondence on this subject, more especially to one, referred to as "Z.," and to another as "Q.," who have obtained a considerable number of reliable histories for me, and have also supplied many valuable notes [...]. Other obligations are mentioned in the text.
- (the act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie to someone): commitment
- (requirement, duty, contract or promise): duty
- (requirement, duty, contract or promise): right
Adjectives often used with "obligation"
moral, legal, social, contractual, political, mutual, military, perpetual, etc.
course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Translations to be checked
Borrowed from Latin obligatio, obligationem, from the verb obligō (“tie together”).
obligation f (plural obligations)
- “obligation”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
- Alternative form of obligacioun
- (government) bond