1. The act of obligating.
2. That which obligates or constrains; the binding power of a promise, contract, oath, or vow, or of law; that which constitutes legal or moral duty.
A tender conscience is a stronger obligation than a proson. --Fuller.
3. Any act by which a person becomes bound to do something to or for another, or to forbear something; external duties imposed by law, promise, or contract, by the relations of society, or by courtesy, kindness, etc.
Every man has obligations which belong to his station. Duties extend beyond obligation, and direct the affections, desires, and intentions, as well as the actions. --Whewell.
4. The state of being obligated or bound; the state of being indebted for an act of favor or kindness; -- often used with under to indicate being in that state; as, to place others under obligations to one.
5. Law A bond with a condition annexed, and a penalty for nonfulfillment. In a larger sense, it is an acknowledgment of a duty to pay a certain sum or do a certain things.
Days of obligation. See under Day.
under obligation, under an obligation. in a state of obligation4.
n 1: the social force that binds you to your obligations and the
courses of action demanded by that force; "we must
instill a sense of duty in our children"; "every right
implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an
obligation; every possession, a duty"- John
D.Rockefeller Jr [syn: duty, responsibility]
2: the state of being obligated to do or pay something; "he is
under an obligation to finish the job"
3: a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service
4: a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the
penalty for failure to comply