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OB'LI-GATE, v.t. [L. obligo; ob and ligo, to bind.]

To bind, as one's self, in a moral and legal sense; to impose on, as a duty which the law or good faith may enforce. A man may obligate himself to pay money, or erect a house, either by bond, by covenant or by a verbal promise. A man obligates himself only by a positive act of his own. We never say, a man obligates his heirs or executors. Until recently, the sense of this word has been restricted to positive and personal acts; and when moral duty or law binds a person to do something, the word oblige has been used. But this distinction is not now observed. The millions of mankind, as one vast fraternity, should feel obligated by a sense of duty and the impulse of affection, to realize the equal rights and to subserve the best interests of each other. Proudfit. That's your true plan, to obligate / The present minister of state. Churchill.


Bound by contract or promise.


Binding by covenant, contract, promise or bond.

OB-LI-GA'TION, n. [L. obligatio.]

  1. The binding power of a vow, promise, oath or contract, or of law, civil, political or moral, independent of a promise; that which constitutes legal or moral duty, and which renders a person liable to coercion and punishment for neglecting it. The laws and commands of God impose on us an obligation to love him supremely, and our neighbor as ourselves. Every citizen is under an obligation to obey the laws of the state. Moral obligation binds men without promise or contract.
  2. The binding force of civility, kindness or gratitude, when the performance of a duty can not be enforced by law. Favors conferred impose on men an obligation to make suitable returns.
  3. Any act by which a person becomes bound to do something to or for another, or to forbear something. Taylor.
  4. In law, a bond with a condition annexed and a penalty for non-fulfillment.



Binding in law or conscience; imposing duty; requiring performance or forbearance of some act; followed by on; to is obsolete. As long as law is obligatory, so long our obedience is due. Taylor.

O-BLIGE, v.t. [pronounced as written, not obleege; Fr. obliger; It. obbligare; Sp. obligar; from L. obligo; ob and ligo, to bind; Russ. oblagayu or oblegayu, to encompass or surround.]

  1. To constrain by necessity; to compel by physical force. An admiral may be obliged to surrender his ships, or he may be obliged by adverse winds to delay sailing.
  2. To constrain by legal force; to bind in law. We are obliged to pay toll for supporting roads and bridges.
  3. To bind or constrain by moral force. We are obliged to believe positive and unsuspected testimony.
  4. To bind in conscience or honor; to constrain by a sense of propriety. We are often obliged to conform to established customs, rites or ceremonies. To be obliged to yield to fashion is often the worst species of tyranny.
  5. To do a favor to; to lay under obligation of gratitude; as, to oblige one with a loan of money.
  6. To do a favor to; to please; to gratify. Oblige us with your company at dinner.
  7. To be indebted. To those hills we are obliged for all our metals. Bentley.

O-BLIG-ED, pp.

Bound in duty or in law; compelled; constrained; favored; indebted.

OB-LI-GEE', n.

The person to whom another is bound, or the person to whom a bond is given. Blackstone.


Obligation. [Little used.] Milton. Dryden.


One that obliges.

O-BLI'GING, a. [Fr. obligeant.]

Having the disposition to do favors, or actually conferring them; as, an obliging man; a man of an obliging disposition; hence, civil; complaisant; kind. Mons. Strozzi has many curiosities, and is very obliging to a stranger that desires the sight of them. Addison.

O-BLI'GING, ppr.

  1. Binding in law or conscience; compelling; constraining.
  2. Doing a favor to. No man can long be the enemy of one whom he is in the habit of obliging. H. Humphrey


With civility; kindly; complaisantly. Addison. Swift.


  1. Obligation. [Little used.] Hammond.
  2. Civility; complaisance; disposition to exercise kindness. Walton.

OB-LI-GOR', n.

The person who binds himself or gives his bond to another. Blackstone.

OB-LI-QUA'TION, n. [L. obliquo, from obliquus, oblique.]

  1. Declination from a straight line or course; a turning to one side; as, the obliquation of the eyes. Newton.
  2. Deviation from moral rectitude.

OB-LIQUE, a. [obli'ke; L. obliquus; Fr. oblique.]

  1. Deviating from a right line; not direct; not perpendicular; not parallel; aslant. It has a direction oblique to that of the former motion. Cheyne. An oblique angle is either acute or obtuse; any angle except a right one. An oblique line is one that, falling on another, makes oblique angles with it. Oblique planes, in dialing, are those which decline from the zenith, or incline toward the horizon. Oblique sailing, is when a ship sails upon some rhomb between the four cardinal points, making an oblique angle with the meridian. Encyc.
  2. Indirect; by a side glance; as, an oblique hint. Shak.
  3. In grammar, an oblique case is any case except the nominative.


  1. In a line deviating from a right line; not directly; not perpendicularly. Declining from the noon of day, / The sun obliquely shoots his burning ray. Pope.
  2. Indirectly; by a side glance; by an allusion; not in the direct or plain meaning. His discourse tends obliquely to the detracting from others. Addison.



OB-LIQ'UI-TY, n. [L. obliquitas; Fr. obliquité.]

  1. Deviation from a right line; deviation from parallelism or perpendicularity; as, the obliquity of the ecliptic to the equator.
  2. Deviation from moral rectitude. To disobey God or oppose his will in any thing imports a moral obliquity. South.
  3. Irregularity; deviation from ordinary rules.

OB-LIT'ER-ATE, v.t. [L. oblitero; ob and litera, letter.]

  1. To efface; to erase or blot out any thing written; or to efface any thing engraved. A writing may be obliterated by erasure, by blotting, or by the slow operation of time or natural causes.
  2. To efface; to wear out; to destroy by time or other means; as, to obliterate ideas or impressions; to obliterate the monuments of antiquity; to obliterate reproach. Hale. Locke.
  3. To reduce to a very low or imperceptible state. The torpor of the vascular system and obliterated pulse. Med. Repos.


Effaced; erased; worn out; destroyed.


Effacing; wearing out; destroying.


The act of effacing; effacement; a blotting out or wearing out; extinction. Hale.