ob·li·ga·tion /ˌä-blə-'gā-shən/ n
1: a promise, acknowledgment, or agreement (as a contract) that binds one to a specific performance (as payment); also: the binding power of such an agreement or indication
held that the amendment did not unconstitutionally impair the obligation s of contractsDavis v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., 521 N.W.2d 366 (1994)
2: a debt security (as a corporate or government bond) see also collateralized mortgage obligation
3: what one is obligated to do, satisfy, or fulfill: as
a: a commitment to pay a particular amount of money
does not create a debt, liability, or other obligation, legal or moralState v. Florida Dev. Fin. Corp., 650 So. 2d 14 (1995); also: an amount owed in such a commitment
b: a duty arising from law, contract, or morality
had a legal obligation as an employer
a contractual obligation
4 in the civil law of Louisiana: a relationship that binds one party to a performance (as a payment or transfer) or nonperformance for another party see also contract, offense, quasi-offense
◇ An obligation under civil law may arise by operation of law, naturally, or by contract or other declaration of will. The elements of an obligation are: the parties, an object, the relationship by virtue of which one party is bound to perform for the other's benefit, and, in the case of conventional obligations, a cause.
conditional obligation: an obligation that is dependent on an uncertain event
conventional obligation: an obligation taking the form of a contract
heritable obligation: an obligation that may be enforced by the successor of the obligee or against the successor of the obligor
joint obligation
1: an obligation binding different obligors to a performance for one obligee
2: an obligation binding one obligor to a performance for different obligees
◇ In civil law, one of two or more obligors in a joint obligation is only liable for his or her portion of the performance.
natural obligation: an obligation arising from moral duty that is implied but not enforceable by the law
several obligation
1: any of the obligations binding different obligors to separate performances for one obligee
2: any of the obligations binding an obligor to separate performances for different obligees
solidary obligation: an obligation under which any of two or more obligors can be held liable for the entire performance (as payment of a debt)
◇ Solidary obligation is similar to joint and several liability in common law.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (duty) noun agreement, burden, charge, commitment, compulsion, contract, covenant, debt, duty owed, homini gratiam debere, legal responsibility, moral responsibility, necessity, oath, obligement, officium, pact, performance owed, promise, responsibility, social responsibility, that which a person owes to another, that which is due from a person associated concepts: alternative obligation, antecedent obligation, community obligation, conditional obligation, contingent obligation, contractual obligation, existing obligation, fiduciary obligation, impairment of obligation, joint obligation, legal obligation, moral obligation, mutual obligations, parental obligation, pecuniary obligation, personal obligation, privity of obligation, secured obligation, several obligations, statutory obligations, voluntary obligation foreign phrases:
- Fides est obligatio conscientiae alicujus ad intentionem alterius. — A truth is an obligation of conscience of one to the wishes of another
- Nihil tarn naturale est, quam eo genere quidque dlssolvere, quo colligatum est; ideo verborum obligatio verbis tollitur; nudl consensus obligatio contrario consensu dissolvitur. — Nothing is so natural as to dissolve anything in the way in which it was made binding
- In omnibus obligationibus in quibus dies non ponitur, praesenti die debetur. — In all obligations in which no time is fixed for their fulfillment, the obligation is due immediately
- Eisdem modis dissolvitur obligatio quae nascitur ex contractu, vel quasi, quibus contrahitur. — An obligation which arises in contract, or quasi contract, is dissolved in the same ways in which it is contracted
- Idem est scire aut scire debet aut potulsse. — To be bound to know or to be able to know is the same as to know
- Nuda pactio obligationem non parit — A naked agreement does not effect an otherwise binding obligation
- Impossibilium nulla obligatio est. — One cannot be obliged to perform impossible tasks.
- Unumquodque dissoMtur eodem ligamine quo llgatur. — Every obligation is dissolved by the same manner with which it is created.
- Omnia quae lure contrahuntur, contrario jure pereunt. — AH contracts which are entered into under a law, become void under a contrary law
- Ignorantia eorum quae quis scire tenetur non excusat — Ignorance of those things which a person is deemed to know is no excuse
- V obligation sans cause, ou sur une fausse cause, ou sur cause illicite, ne peut avoir aucun effet. — An obligation without consideration, or upon a false consideration, or upon unlawful consideration, cannot have any effect.
- Nudum pactum est ubi nulla subest causa praeter conventionem; sed ubi subest causa, fit obligatio, et park actionem. — A naked contract is where there is no consideration except the agreement; but, where there is a consideration, an obligation is created and gives rise to a right of action.
II (liability) noun accountability, amount due, charge, debit, debt, duty to pay money, indebtedness, indenture, outstanding debt, that which is owing, unliquidated claim, unpaid debt III index agreement (contract), allegiance, arrears, assurance, bond, burden, charge (cost), charge (lien), charge (responsibility), cloud (incumbrance), commitment (responsibility), compact, compulsion (coercion), condition (contingent provision), contract, coverage (insurance), debit, debt, delinquency (shortage), duress, enforcement, excise, expense (cost), incumbrance (lien), job, liability, lien, mortgage, need (requirement), pledge (binding promise), policy (contract), pressure, promise, provision (clause), rate, recognizance, requirement, responsibility (accountability), restriction, security (stock), specialty (contract), trust (custody), undertaking (commitment), undertaking (pledge), weight (burden)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A duty; something that a person is required to do; a binding agreement that requires a person to do something; a document containing a binding agreement.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

a legal tie, in Roman law divided into contract, delict, quasi-contract and quasi-delict. In modern Western systems that do not have codes modelled on the old Roman law, the division is into contract, tort/delict and restitution. Some commentators have commented upon the need to reserve a fourth miscellaneous category rather than force some obligations into categories to which they are not suited.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A legal duty to pay or do something.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Personal Finance & Retirement
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1 A moral or legal duty to perform or to not perform some action.
2 A binding, formal arrangement or an agreement to a liability to pay a specified amount or to do a certain thing for a person or group of persons.
See also duty, liability.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A generic term for any type of legal duty or liability.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A generic term for any type of legal duty or liability.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   a legal duty to pay or do something.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Obligation — Obligation …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • obligation — [ ɔbligasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1235; lat. jurid. obligatio, de obligare 1 ♦ Dr. Lien de droit en vertu duquel une personne peut être contrainte de donner, de faire ou de ne pas faire qqch. (⇒ créancier, 1. débiteur). Obligation alimentaire. (lat. in… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Obligation — • Defined in the Institutes of Justinian as a legal bond which by a legal necessity binds us to do something according to the laws of our State Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Obligation     Obligation …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • obligation — Obligation. s. f. Acte public par lequel on s oblige pardevant Notaire de payer certaine somme. Une obligation de dix mille francs. la nouvelle Ordonnance deffend l obligation par corps. obligation solidaire &c. il m en a passé obligation… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • obligation — Obligation, f. acut. Obligatio, Tabulae. Obligation de comparoir en justice, Vadimonium. Une solennité d obligation, ou alienation où il failloit entre autres choses cinq tesmoins, Nexus, siue Nexum. Avoir quelque obligation envers autruy sous… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Obligation — Ob li*ga tion, n. [F. obligation. L. obligatio. See {Oblige}.] 1. The act of obligating. [1913 Webster] 2. That which obligates or constrains; the binding power of a promise, contract, oath, or vow, or of law; that which constitutes legal or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obligation — 1 Obligation, duty are comparable when they denote what a person is bound to do or refrain from doing or for the performañce or nonperformance of which he is held responsible. In ordinary usage obligation typically implies immediate constraint… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Obligation — (von lateinisch obligare anbinden, verpflichten) steht für: Obligation (Recht), die Haftung einer Person für ein Schuldverhältnis beziehungsweise das Schuldverhältnis als solches Wirtschaft und Finanzen: verzinsliches Wertpapier, eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • obligation — (n.) c.1300, from O.Fr. obligation (early 13c.), from L. obligationem (nom. obligatio) an engaging or pledging, lit. a binding (but rarely used in this sense), noun of action from pp. stem of obligare (see OBLIGE (Cf. oblige)). The notion is of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • obligation — [äb΄li gā′shən] n. [ME obligacioun < OFr obligation < L obligatio] 1. an obligating or being obligated 2. a binding contract, promise, moral responsibility, etc. 3. a duty imposed legally or socially; thing that one is bound to do by… …   English World dictionary

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