from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Ready to do favors for others; accommodating.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Happy and ready to do favours for others.
  • v. Present participle of oblige.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Putting under obligation; disposed to oblige or do favors; hence, helpful; civil; kind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having a disposition to oblige or confer favors; ready to do a good turn or to be of service: as, an obliging neighbor; hence, characteristic of one who is ready to do a favor; accommodating; kind; complaisant: as, an obliging disposition.
  • Synonyms Friendly. See polite.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. showing a cheerful willingness to do favors for others


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I answered this worthy man, and told him my sister's reserve, as to her husband's treatment of her: he praised her prudence, and added, "your father had two motives in obliging her to marry the Count; he was disappointed in both, for he was no stranger to her situation before he died."

    The Castle of Wolfenbach

  • He was what they called "obliging" -- a man who instinctively did the thing which he saw would help another, no matter how trivial or homely it was.

    McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 3, February 1896

  • "Oh, all right, I'll shoot him then!" called obliging Stubby, whistling for the dog -- while all morning long the woman grieved over having sent a helpless little dog away with that perfectly

    Lifted Masks; stories

  • Yet it is ungrateful to be grave, when practically you are good and just about the letters, and generous too sometimes, and I could not bear the idea of obliging you to write to me, even once ... when ....

    The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett

  • Love such as his, in a man like himself, must with perseverance secure a return, and at no great distance; and he had so much delight in the idea of obliging her to love him in a very short time, that her not loving him now was scarcely regretted.

    Mansfield Park

  • Such an idealized person (the authorized judge of conscience) must be one who knows the heart; for the tribunal is set up in the inward part of man; at the same time he must also be all-obliging, that is, must be or be conceived as a person in respect of whom all duties are to be regarded as his commands; since conscience is the inward judge of all free actions.

    The Metaphysical Elements of Ethics

  • If at that stage, Portugal has improved its finances and the healing in the financial sector has progressed enough, the idea of obliging the private Greek debt holders to participate in the cleaning up of the Greek mess might be too attractive for cash-strapped EMU governments.

  • They all support the idea of obliging utilities to generate a certain proportion of their output-perhaps 15\% by 2020-from renewable sources, for example, and want such a rule included in a cap-and-trade bill.

    The Economist: Correspondent's diary

  • Here you have a liberal willingly assigning responsibility to any and all parties responsible for 9/11 which includes liberals, Democrats, whoever… and yet you say “all” liberals can “never” take criticism and imply/say I am some kind of obliging terrorist supporter.

    Think Progress » ABC’s Path to 9/11 blog returns,

  • For other misdemeanors he inflicted upon them various kinds of disgrace; such as obliging them to stand all day before the praetorium, sometimes in their tunics only, and without their belts, sometimes to carry poles ten feet long, or sods of turf.

    De vita Caesarum


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Scales, though he was always spending money, was not at all well off; he did not pay for the house himself. A most obliging building society, which existed solely for the purpose of enabling impecunious Englishmen to feel that their homes were their castles, did that. -- ''Yashima, or, The Gorgeous West'' by R T Sherwood, 1931.

    December 24, 2008