Definition of oblige
1 : to constrain by physical, moral, or legal force or by the exigencies of circumstance obliged to find a job felt obliged to share it with her
2a : to put in one's debt by a favor or service We are much obliged for your help.b : to do a favor for always ready to oblige a friend
: to do something as or as if as a favor When he was asked for advice, he obliged.
oblige was our Word of the Day on 04/19/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of oblige in a Sentence
The law obliges the government to release certain documents to the public.
Her job obliges her to work overtime and on weekends.
She's always ready to oblige her friends.
“Thank you for your help.” “I'm happy to oblige.”
They asked for food and he obliged with soup and sandwiches.
Recent Examples of oblige from the Web
Moskalick obliged and eventually became a full-time coach.
Her daughter, who now lives in Canada, likes to keep up with the goings-on back home, and Tsikurios always obliges.
Fans obliged, and the photos are not only creative, some of them are also pretty hilarious.
When May announced the election, the tabloids obliged her by mounting a largely shocking and dishonest campaign against Corbyn.
Almost exactly a year ago, hosting the Tony Awards, the British performer was obliged to address a shooting at a nightclub in Orlando in which 49 people were killed.
And Moran, artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center, was glad to oblige.
Some people think what the world needs now is more protest music and Prophets of Rage seem ready to oblige.
Worse is that taking offense to anything somehow obliges you to taking offense at everything.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oblige'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Oblige shares some similarities with its close relative obligate, but there are also differences. Oblige derived via Middle English and Anglo-French from Latin obligare ("to bind to"), a combination of ob- ("to or toward") and ligare ("to bind"), whereas obligate descended directly from the past participle of obligare. Both oblige and obligate are frequently used in their past participle forms to express a kind of legal or moral constraint. Obligated once meant "indebted for a service or favor," but today it typically means "required to do something because the law requires it or because it is the right thing to do." Obliged is now the preferred term for the sense that Southern author Flannery O'Connor used in a 1952 letter: "I would be much obliged if you would send me six copies."
Synonym Discussion of oblige
OBLIGE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of oblige for English Language Learners
: to force or require (someone or something) to do something because of a law or rule or because it is necessary
: to do something that someone has asked you to do : to do a favor for (someone)
OBLIGE Defined for Kids
Definition of oblige for Students
Seen and Heard
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