See also: obligé

English edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English obligen, from Old French obligier, obliger, from Latin obligo, obligare, from ob- + ligo. Doublet of obligate, taken straight from Latin.

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /əˈblaɪd͡ʒ/
    • Rhymes: -aɪdʒ
    • (file)
  • (obsolete) IPA(key): /əˈbliːd͡ʒ/, /ɒˈbliːd͡ʒ/

Verb edit

oblige (third-person singular simple present obliges, present participle obliging, simple past and past participle obliged)

  1. (transitive) To constrain someone by force or by social, moral or legal means.
    I am obliged to report to the police station every week.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], →OCLC:
      Tho' he was some time awake before me, yet did he not offer to disturb a repose he had given me so much occasion for; but on my first stirring, which was not till past ten o'clock, I was oblig'd to endure one more trial of his manhood.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To do (someone) a service or favour (hence, originally, creating an obligation).
    He obliged me by not parking his car in the drive.
    The singer obliged with another song.
    • 1719, John Harris, Astronomical dialogues between a gentleman and a lady, page 151:
      In the mean time I have another trouble to give you, if you will oblige me in it; and that is to get me a sight of the famous Orrery, which I have heard you and others so often speak of; and which I think was made by Mr. Rowley, the famous Mathematical Instrument-Maker.
  3. (intransitive) To be indebted to someone.
    I am obliged to you for your recent help.

Usage notes edit

Aside from in American English and Scottish, "obliged" had largely replaced "obligate" by the 20th century, the latter being more common in the 17th through 19th centuries.[1][2]

Derived terms edit

Related terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1996)
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, p. 675

Anagrams edit

French edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. inflection of obliger:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Romanian edit

Pronunciation edit

Verb edit


  1. third-person singular/plural present subjunctive of obliga