from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie.
- n. A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
- n. A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which one is bound or restricted.
- n. The constraining power of a promise, contract, law, or sense of duty.
- n. Law A legal agreement stipulating a specified payment or action, especially if the agreement also specifies a penalty for failure to comply.
- n. Law The document containing the terms of such an agreement.
- n. Something owed as payment or in return for a special service or favor.
- n. The service or favor for which one is indebted to another.
- n. The state, fact, or feeling of being indebted to another for a special service or favor received.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie to someone.
- n. A social, legal, or moral requirement, duty, contract, or promise that compels someone to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
- n. A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which someone is bound or restricted.
- n. A legal agreement stipulating a specified payment or action; the document containing such agreement.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of obligating.
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The constraining power or authoritative character of a duty, a moral precept, a civil law, or a promise or contract voluntarily made; action upon the will by a sense of moral constraint.
- n. That to which one is bound; that which one is bound or obliged to do, especially by moral or legal claims; a duty.
- n. A claim; a ground of demanding.
- n. The state or fact of being bound or morally constrained by gratitude to requite benefits; moral indebtedness.
- n. In law: A bond containing a penalty, with a condition annexed, for payment of money, performance of covenants, or the like: sometimes styled a writing obligatory. By some modern English jurists the word is used as equivalent to legal duty generally.
- n. In Roman law, the juridical relation between two or more persons in virtue of which one can compel the other to do or not to do a certain act which has a monetary value, or can at least be measured by a monetary standard.
- n. In medieval schools, a rule of disputation by which the opponent was bound to admit any premise, not involving a contradiction, begging of the question, or other fallacy, which the respondent might propose.
- n. Synonyms Engagement, contract, agreement.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor
- n. the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
- n. a written promise to repay a debt
- n. a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
- n. the state of being obligated to do or pay something
From Latin obligatio, from obligatum (past participle of obligare), from ob- to + ligare to bind, from Proto-Indo-European *leig- (“to bind”). (Wiktionary)