From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishobligationob‧li‧ga‧tion /ˌɒbləˈɡeɪʃən $ ˌɑːb-/ ●●○ W3 noun [countable, uncountable] MUSTSHOULD/OUGHT TOa moral or legal duty to do somethingobligation to America’s obligation to its allies Employers have an obligation to treat all employees equally. Parents are under a legal obligation to educate their children. You are under no obligation to buy any more books. Greater resources are needed to meet these obligations. the rights and obligations imposed on them by treaties The government must pay for health care for war veterans – it is an obligation we owe to them. a moral obligation to help the poor He stayed with the team out of a sense of obligation.COLLOCATIONSverbshave an obligationCitizens have an obligation to obey the law.feel an obligationWhen his mother died, he felt an obligation to continue her work.meet/fulfil/honour an obligation (=do something that you have a duty to do )The company has been unable to meet its financial obligations.All member states must fulfil their obligations according to the EC treaty.The government failed to honour its obligations under the terms of the agreement.impose an obligation formal (=put someone in the position of having an obligation)A contract imposes certain obligations on employees and employers.owe an obligation to somebody formal (=have an obligation to support, help etc someone)He owed an obligation of loyalty to his king.an obligation arises formal (=starts to exist) the obligations arising out of the treatyphrasesbe under an obligation (=have an obligation)The landlord is under an obligation to repair the house.be under no obligationAn accused man is under no obligation to say anything.a sense of obligationthe sense of obligation that you feel towards your familyadjectivesa moral/legal/social obligationWe have a moral obligation to take care of our environment.a statutory obligation formal (=something that the law says must be done)The Local Authority has a statutory obligation to provide education.a contractual obligation (=something that a contract says you must do)The company must refund your money in line with their contractual obligations.a binding obligation (=something that you must legally do, especially because of an agreement)These clauses are legally binding obligations on both parties.
Examples from the Corpusobligation• This section lists long-term debt owed to banks or other creditors and any obligations under capital leases.• Alvin Sharpes stiffened, torn by conflicting obligations.• Fathers mildly lit on Friday nights, at ease with these immeasurable obligations.• We will meet our international obligations to reduce harmful chimney emissions.• Poor rates mounted, and many magistrates and overseers continued their moral obligations but in a spirit of growing hopelessness.• There is no obligation on the suspect to answer questions.• But without the obligation to show current affairs in peak time, it may be pushed into a less attractive slot.sense of obligation• That provided a focus, a dynamism, and a sense of obligation to their activities that had been missing before.• The key idea here is that feelings, conserved as values, engender a sense of obligation to act on those values.• I hoped my action in sending him the book would place him under a sense of obligation.• His loyalty and sense of obligation go to his village, and to its norms and structures.• So it was partly out of an illogical sense of obligation that she began to read his book on Aurae Phiala.• If the individual has a strong will, then there is in place a strong sense of obligation to ones values.• Sometimes girls will volunteer to go away to earn money because of the strong sense of obligation to their family.• Could it be that this underlying sense of obligation has weakened over time?From Longman Business Dictionaryobligationob‧li‧ga‧tion /ˌɒbləˈgeɪʃənˌɑːb-/ noun [countable, uncountable]1a legal or moral duty to do somethingobligation to do somethingI think companies should have a legal obligation to recycle their products at the ends of their lives.It’s our obligation to provide a telephone service at the lowest possible cost.We’ve fulfilled our obligation to the creditors and shareholders.The firm failed to meet its contractual obligations (=do what the contract said it should do).2be under an obligation to have to do something because it is a legal or moral dutyThe water company is under an obligation to enhance drinking water standards.be under no obligation to do somethingThe government is under no obligation to finance the museum.3without obligation if you are invited to look at a product or service without obligation, you can look at it without having to buy itThis mortgage advice is completely free and without obligation.