Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: obliger, from Latin obligare, from ligare 'to tie'

oblige

verb
     
o‧blige S3 formal
1 [transitive usually passive] if you are obliged to do something, you have to do it because the situation, the law, a duty etc makes it necessary
oblige somebody to do something
The minister was obliged to report at least once every six months.
Circumstances had obliged him to sell the business.
feel obliged to do something (=feel that you have a duty to do something)
Many parents feel obliged to pay for at least part of the wedding.
! Do not use oblige when you are talking about making someone do something they do not want to do. Use force or make: No one can force (NOT oblige) you to stay in a job that you hate.
2 [intransitive and transitive] to do something that someone has asked you to do:
It's always a good idea to oblige important clients.
happy/glad/ready etc to oblige
If you need a ride home, I'd be happy to oblige.
3

I'd be obliged if

spoken formal used to make a polite request:
I'd be obliged if you'd treat this matter as strictly confidential.
4

(I'm) much obliged (to you)

spoken old-fashioned used to thank someone very politely

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