obligation - definition and synonyms

noun [countable/uncountable] 

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  1. 1
    something that you must do for legal or moral reasons
    have an obligation to someone/something:

    The firm has an obligation to its customers.

    obligation to do something:

    Buyers have no legal obligation to disclose personal financial information.

    meet/honour/fulfil an obligation:

    The council has failed to fulfil its statutory obligation to the public.

    without (any) obligation:

    Estimates are available on request, without obligation.

  2. 2
    a grateful feeling that you have towards someone who has done something for you
    obligation to/towards:

    She felt a certain obligation towards him because of everything he had done for her in the past.

    sense of obligation:

    Emma felt a tremendous sense of obligation towards her sister.