v. o·bliged, o·blig·ing, o·blig·es
1. To compel or require (someone) to do something, as by circumstance or legality: When the power went out, we were obliged to fetch water with a bucket. The contract obliges you to meet the deadline.
2. To make indebted or grateful: I am obliged to you for your gracious hospitality.
3. To do a service or favor for: They obliged us by arriving early.
To do a service or favor: The soloist obliged with yet another encore.
[Middle English obligen, from Old French obligier, from Latin obligāre : ob-, to; see OB- + ligāre, to bind; see leig- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: oblige, accommodate, favor
These verbs mean to perform a service or a courteous act for: She obliged me by keeping the personal matter quiet. My brother is accommodating me by lending me money. The singer favored the audience with an encore. See Also Synonyms at force.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.