obligation: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (ob"li-gā'shun), [key]
— n.
  1. something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc.
  2. something that is done or is to be done for such reasons: to fulfill one's obligations.
  3. a binding promise, contract, sense of duty, etc.
  4. the act of binding or obliging oneself by a promise, contract, etc.
    1. an agreement enforceable by law, originally applied to promises under seal.
    2. a document containing such an agreement.
    3. a bond containing a penalty, with a condition annexed for payment of money, performance of covenants, etc.
  5. any bond, note, bill, certificate, or the like, as of a government or a corporation, serving as evidence of indebtedness.
  6. an indebtedness or amount of indebtedness.
  7. a favor, service, or benefit for which gratitude is due.
  8. a debt of gratitude: He felt an obligation to his teacher.
  9. the state of being under a debt, as of gratitude, for a favor, service, or benefit.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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