To oblige is to do something you have to, because you're bound by either good manners or the law.

You are obliged to pay back your student loans, or for your portion of the dinner bill. You may also feel obliged to bring a gift if you're invited to a wedding. You can also tip your cowboy hat and be "much obliged" if someone does you a favor. The French phrase, noblesse oblige means basically that "privilege entails responsibility," or that the wealthy are obliged to do something productive in the world and not just sit around polishing their silver spoons.

Definitions of oblige
  1. verb
    force somebody to do something
    synonyms: compel, obligate
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    force, thrust
    impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably
    make walk
    coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze
    to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means :"She forced him to take a job in the city"
    compel someone to do something by insistent clamoring
    compel or force into a particular state or activity
    compel through a sense of shame
    apply, enforce, implement
    ensure observance of laws and rules
    enforce, impose
    compel to behave in a certain way
    stick, sting
    saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
    exhibit, march, parade
    walk ostentatiously
    cause to march or go at a marching pace
    turn up the heat, turn up the pressure
    apply great or increased pressure
    to compel or force or urge relentlessly or exert coercive pressure on, or motivate strongly
    overcome or coerce as if by using a heavy club
    steamroll, steamroller
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
    squeeze for
    squeeze someone for money, information, etc.
    dragoon, railroad, sandbag
    compel by coercion, threats, or crude means
    terrorise, terrorize
    coerce by violence or with threats
    bring oneself
    cause to undertake a certain action, usually used in the negative
    execute, run
    carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
    carry out the legalities of
    type of:
    cause, get, have, induce, make, stimulate
    cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner
  2. verb
    bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
    synonyms: bind, hold, obligate
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    bind or secure by a pledge
    bind by a contract; especially for a training period
    indent, indenture
    bind by or as if by indentures, as of an apprentice or servant
    tie down
    restrain from independence by an obligation
    type of:
    have or establish a relationship to
  3. verb
    provide a service or favor for someone
    “We had to oblige him”
    synonyms: accommodate
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    ignore someone's wishes
    type of:
    abide by, comply, follow
    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
Word Family

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