Other forms: obligations

An obligation is a duty. It's your obligation or responsibility to call your mom on Mother's Day. Sending flowers would be even better.

When you are morally or legally bound to a particular commitment, it's your obligation to follow through on it. If you see a crime taking place, for example, it's your obligation to notify the police. If an elderly person comes onto a full bus, it's your obligation to give up your seat for him. Sometimes when you enter a formal agreement with someone involving money, you might have to sign an obligation that states you are committed to paying back what you've borrowed.

Definitions of obligation
  1. noun
    the state of being obligated to do or pay something
    “he is under an obligation to finish the job”
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    financial obligation, indebtedness, liability
    an obligation to pay money to another party
    limited liability
    the liability of a firm's owners for no more than the capital they have invested in the firm
    the state of owing something (especially money)
    the state of being behind in payments
    account payable, payable
    a liability account showing how much is owed for goods and services purchased on credit
    scot and lot
    obligations of all kinds taken as a whole
    type of:
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  2. noun
    the social force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force
    “every opportunity, an obligation
    synonyms: duty, responsibility
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    the responsibility to do something
    guardianship, keeping, safekeeping
    the responsibility of a guardian or keeper
    moral obligation
    an obligation arising out of considerations of right and wrong
    noblesse oblige
    the obligation of those of high rank to be honorable and generous (often used ironically)
    burden of proof
    the duty of proving a disputed charge
    civic duty, civic responsibility
    the responsibilities of a citizen
    filial duty
    duty of a child to its parents
    some duty that is essential and urgent
    a duty that is incumbent upon you
    legal duty
    acts which the law requires be done or forborne
    line of duty
    all that is normally required in some area of responsibility
    white man's burden
    the supposed responsibility of the white race to provide care for their non-white subjects
    prerequisite, requirement
    something that is required in advance
    demand, requirement
    required activity
    custody, hands
    (with `in') guardianship over; in divorce cases it is the right to house and care for and discipline a child
    jury duty
    the civic duty to serve on a jury
    fiduciary duty
    the legal duty of a fiduciary to act in the best interests of the beneficiary
    obedience, respect
    behavior intended to please your parents
    a condition that is a prerequisite
    academic requirement
    a requirement for admission to or completion of an academic program
    essential condition, sine qua non
    a prerequisite
    type of:
    social control
    control exerted (actively or passively) by group action
  3. noun
    a personal relation in which one is indebted for a service or favor
    synonyms: indebtedness
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    type of:
    personal relation, personal relationship
    a relation between persons
  4. noun
    a written promise to repay a debt
    synonyms: certificate of indebtedness, debt instrument
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    cash equivalent
    a highly liquid debt instrument with maturities of less than three months
    CD, certificate of deposit
    a debt instrument issued by a bank; usually pays interest
    note, note of hand, promissory note
    a promise to pay a specified amount on demand or at a certain time
    a debt instrument with a variable interest rate tied to some other interest rate (e.g. the rate paid by T-bills)
    bond, bond certificate
    a certificate of debt (usually interest-bearing or discounted) that is issued by a government or corporation in order to raise money; the issuer is required to pay a fixed sum annually until maturity and then a fixed sum to repay the principal
    bond issue
    bonds sold by a corporation or government agency at a particular time and identifiable by date of maturity
    convertible bond
    a bond that can be converted to other securities under certain conditions
    corporate bond
    a bond issued by a corporation; carries no claim to ownership and pays no dividends but payments to bondholders have priority over payments to stockholders
    bearer bond, coupon bond
    a bond issued with detachable coupons that must be presented to the issuer for interest payments
    government bond
    a bond that is an IOU of the United States Treasury; considered the safest security in the investment world
    high-yield bond, junk bond
    a (speculative) bond with a credit rating of BB or lower; issued for leveraged buyouts and other takeovers by companies with questionable credit
    municipal bond
    a bond issued by a state or local government
    noncallable bond
    a bond containing a provision that the holder cannot redeem the security before a specific date (usually at maturity)
    performance bond, surety bond
    a bond given to protect the recipient against loss in case the terms of a contract are not filled; a surety company assumes liability for nonperformance
    post-obit bond
    a bond made by a reversioner to secure a loan; payable out of his reversion
    registered bond
    a bond whose owner is recorded on the books of the issuer; can be transferred to another owner only when endorsed by the registered owner
    revenue bond
    a bond issued by an agency that is commissioned to finance public works; revenue from the public property is used to pay off the bond
    secured bond
    a bond that is back by collateral
    debenture, debenture bond, unsecured bond
    the ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future
    zero coupon bond, zero-coupon bond
    a bond that is issued at a deep discount from its value at maturity and pays no interest during the life of the bond; the commonest form of zero-coupon security
    time deposit
    a certificate of deposit from which withdrawals can be made only after advance notice or at a specified future date
    demand note
    a note payable on demand
    note receivable
    your right in a promissory note in which the maker promises to pay a certain amount of money at a certain time
    note payable
    a note promising to pay a certain amount of money at a certain time
    commercial paper
    an unsecured and unregistered short-term obligation issued by an institutional borrower to investors who have temporarily idle cash
    municipal note
    a municipal debt instrument with a maturity of less than 2 years
    an informal debt instrument; representing `I owe you'
    time note
    a note that specifies the time (or times) of repayment
    Premium Bond
    a government bond that bears no interest or capital gains but enters the holder into lotteries
    type of:
    a written account of ownership or obligation
  5. noun
    a legal agreement specifying a payment or action and the penalty for failure to comply
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    an obligation to pay or do something
    type of:
    written agreement
    a legal document summarizing the agreement between parties




DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘obligation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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