noun ob·li·ga·tion \ˌä-blə-ˈgā-shən\

: something that you must do because of a law, rule, promise, etc.

: something that you must do because it is morally right

Full Definition of OBLIGATION

:  the action of obligating oneself to a course of action (as by a promise or vow)
a :  something (as a formal contract, a promise, or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action
b :  a debt security (as a mortgage or corporate bond)
c :  a commitment (as by a government) to pay a particular sum of money; also :  an amount owed under such an obligation <unable to meet its obligations, the company went into bankruptcy>
a :  a condition or feeling of being obligated
b :  a debt of gratitude
:  something one is bound to do :  duty, responsibility

Examples of OBLIGATION

  1. She believes that all people have a moral obligation to defend human rights.
  2. He argues that people in a community have certain obligations to each other.
  3. She failed to fulfill her obligations as a parent.

First Known Use of OBLIGATION

14th century

Rhymes with OBLIGATION

abdication, aberration, abjuration, abnegation, abrogation, acceptation, acclamation, accusation, activation, adaptation, adjuration, admiration, adoration, adulation, adumbration, affectation, affirmation, aggravation, aggregation, agitation, allegation, allocation, amputation, alteration, altercation, animation, annexation, annotation, appellation, application, approbation, arbitration, arrogation, aspiration, assignation, attestation, augmentation, automation, aviation, avocation, blaxploitation, botheration, calculation, calibration, cancellation, carbonation, castigation, celebration, cerebration, chlorination, circulation, cogitation, collocation, coloration, combination, comfort station, commendation, commutation, compensation, complication, computation, concentration, condemnation, condensation, confirmation, confiscation, conflagration, conformation, confrontation, congregation, conjugation, connotation, consecration, conservation, consolation, constellation, consternation, constipation, consultation, consummation, contemplation, conurbation, conversation, convocation, copulation, coronation, corporation, correlation, corrugation, crenellation, crop rotation, culmination, cultivation, cumulation, cybernation, decimation, declamation, declaration, declination, decoration, dedication, defamation, defecation, deformation, degradation, dehydration, delectation, delegation, demarcation, demonstration, denigration, denotation, depilation, deportation, depravation, depredation, deputation, derivation, derogation, desecration, designation, desolation, desperation, destination, detestation, detonation, devastation, deviation, dislocation, dispensation, disputation, dissertation, dissipation, distillation, divination, domination, education, elevation, elongation, emanation, embarkation, embrocation, emendation, emigration, emulation, enervation, escalation, estimation, evocation, exaltation, excavation, excitation, exclamation, exculpation, execration, exhalation, exhortation, exhumation, expectation, expiation, expiration, explanation, explication, exploitation, exploration, exportation, expurgation, extirpation, exultation, fabrication, fascination, federation, fenestration, fermentation, fibrillation, figuration, filling station, fire station, flagellation, fluoridation, fluctuation, forestation, formulation, fornication, fragmentation, fulmination, fumigation, gene mutation, generation, germination, glaciation, graduation, granulation, gravitation, habitation, hesitation, hibernation, hyphenation, ideation, imitation, immigration, immolation, implantation, implication, importation, imprecation, imputation, incantation, incarnation, inclination, incrustation, incubation, indentation, indication, indignation, infestation, infiltration, inflammation, information, inhalation, innovation, inspiration, installation, instigation, insulation, integration, intimation, intonation, inundation, invitation, invocation, irrigation, irritation, iteration, jubilation, laceration, lamentation, lamination, legislation, levitation, liberation, limitation, lineation, liquidation, litigation, lubrication, lucubration, maceration, machination, malformation, masturbation, maturation, mediation, medication, meditation, melioration, menstruation, ministration, mitigation, moderation, modulation, molestation, motivation, mutilation, navigation, nomination, obfuscation, objurgation, observation, occupation, operation, orchestration, ordination, oscillation, osculation, ostentation, ovulation, oxidation, pagination, palpitation, penetration, percolation, perforation, permeation, permutation, perpetration, perspiration, perturbation, pigmentation, pixilation, police station, pollination, population, postulation, power station, predication, preparation, presentation, preservation, proclamation, procreation, profanation, prolongation, promulgation, propagation, prorogation, protestation, provocation, publication, punctuation, radiation, recantation, recitation, reclamation, re-creation, recreation, reformation, refutation, registration, regulation, rehydration, relaxation, relocation, renovation, reparation, replication, reprobation, reputation, reservation, resignation, respiration, restoration, retardation, revelation, revocation, ruination, rumination, rustication, salutation, sanitation, saturation, segmentation, segregation, separation, sequestration, service station, sexploitation, simulation, situation, speciation, speculation, spoliation, stimulation, stipulation, strangulation, structuration, stylization, subjugation, sublimation, suffocation, syncopation, syndication, tabulation, termination, T formation, titillation, toleration, transfer station, transformation, translocation, transmigration, transmutation, transpiration, transplantation, transportation, trepidation, tribulation, ulceration, ululation, undulation, urination, vaccination, vacillation, validation, valuation, variation, vegetation, veneration, ventilation, vindication, violation, visitation, weather station
OBLIGATION Defined for Kids


noun ob·li·ga·tion \ˌä-blə-ˈgā-shən\

Definition of OBLIGATION for Kids

:  something a person must do because of the demands of a promise or contract <Make sure you know your rights and obligations before you sign.>
:  something a person feels he or she must do :  duty <I can't go because of other obligations.>
:  a feeling of being indebted for an act of kindness <Don't feel any obligation to return the favor.>
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