English dictionary



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English noun: obligation

1. obligation (act) the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force


SamplesWe must instill a sense of duty in our children.
Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.


Synonymsduty, responsibility


Broader (hypernym)social control


Narrower (hyponym)burden of proof, civic duty, civic responsibility, demand, filial duty, guardianship, imperative, incumbency, job, keeping, legal duty, line of duty, moral obligation, noblesse oblige, prerequisite, requirement, requirement, safekeeping, white man's burden

2. obligation (state) the state of being obligated to do or pay something


SamplesHe is under an obligation to finish the job.


Broader (hypernym)state


Narrower (hyponym)financial obligation, indebtedness, liability

3. obligation a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor


Synonymsindebtedness


Broader (hypernym)personal relation, personal relationship

4. obligation (possession) a written promise to repay a debt


Synonymscertificate of indebtedness, debt instrument


Broader (hypernym)document


Narrower (hyponym)bond, bond certificate, cash equivalent, CD, certificate of deposit, floater, note, note of hand, promissory note

5. obligation (communication) a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply


Broader (hypernym)written agreement


Narrower (hyponym)debt









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