Definitions for: Obligation

[n] 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
[n] a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
[n] a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor
[n] the state of being obligated to do or pay something; "he is under an obligation to finish the job"

Webster (1913) Definition: Ob"li*ga"tion, n. [F. obligation. L. obligatio. See
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 anouther, 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; 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.

Synonyms: duty, responsibility

See Also: burden of proof, civic duty, civic responsibility, debt, demand, filial duty, financial obligation, guardianship, imperative, incumbency, indebtedness, job, keeping, legal duty, liability, line of duty, moral obligation, noblesse oblige, personal relation, personal relationship, prerequisite, requirement, safekeeping, social control, state, white man's burden, written agreement

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