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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

OBLIGE/OBLIGATE: the implicatures -- Hart vs. Grice


oblige, v.

Pronunciation:  Brit. /əˈblʌɪdʒ/ , U.S. /əˈblaɪdʒ/
Forms:  α. 

   ME obleche,  

ME oblegi (south-west.),  

ME obliche,  

ME oblie (transmission error),

  ME obligi (south-west.),  

ME oblyge,  

ME 18– oblege (regional),

  ME– oblige, 1

5 18– obleege (regional),  

16 obleidge,  

16 obleige,  

16 obliege,  

16 obligue,  

16 obliige (perh. transmission error),  

16–18 oblidge, 1

7 obleadg,  

17 obliedge,  

18– obleedge (regional);  

Sc. pre-17 obblych,  

pre-17 obleadge,  

pre-17 obledge,  

pre-17 obleeidge,  

pre-17 oblege,  

pre-17 obleidg,  

pre-17 obleidge,  

pre-17 obleig,  

pre-17 obleigde,  

pre-17 obleige,

  pre-17 oblidge,  

pre-17 obliege,  

pre-17 obligd,  

pre-17 oblych,

  pre-17 17 obliedge,  

pre-17 17– oblige,

  17 obleedge,  

18– obleege.

β. ME obblische, ME oblesche, ME obleshe, ME oblesshe, ME oblische, ME oblish, ME oblishe, ME oblissh, ME oblysche, ME oblyssh; Sc. pre-17 obleish, pre-17 obleishe, pre-17 oblesce, pre-17 oblesch, pre-17 oblesh, pre-17 obliesh, pre-17 oblisch, pre-17 oblishe, pre-17 oblysh, pre-17 17 oblish; N.E.D. (1902) also records a form lME obblish.
γ. ME oblesse, ME oblis, ME oblise, ME obliss, ME oblisse, ME oblyce, ME oblys, ME oblyse, ME oblyss; Sc. pre-17 obelis, pre-17 obelys, pre-17 obleas, pre-17 obleise, pre-17 obles, pre-17 oblese, pre-17 oblesse, pre-17 oblice, pre-17 oblis, pre-17 oblise, pre-17 obliss, pre-17 obliste, pre-17 oblyce, pre-17 oblyes, pre-17 oblyis, pre-17 oblys, pre-17 oblyse, pre-17 17 obleis, pre-17 17 obleiss, 17 obless.
Etymology:    <  Anglo-Norman "obliger", oblijer and Old French, Middle French obliger, obligier, "to bind by oath or promise", "to pledge" (mid 13th cent.; also reflexive), "to constrain", "to force"(circa 1485), "to make liable" (1538; also reflexive), "to perform a service", "to give pleasure"(1538). From  classical Latin "obligāre": i. to bind by an oath, promise, or moral or legal tie.ii. to pledgeiii. to mortgageiv. to make liablev. to bind or tie aroundvi. to bind upvii. to restrain. From: ob-  ob- prefix   + ligāre   to tie, bind (see ligate v.).

The word was formerly pronounced /əˈbliːdʒ/ , as noted by 17th- and 18th-cent. orthoepists including Coles, Strong, and Young, and this pronunciation is recorded as a variant up until the early 19th cent., e.g. in Walker (1806).

It appears to have become obsolete by the mid 19th cent., and is not found in later sources, including Webster (1828), Smart (1857), Worcester (1860), and Stormonth (1884).

Webster (1828) includes the comment that the word is ‘pronounced as written, not obleege’, which perhaps implies that /əˈbliːdʒ/ , while deemed incorrect, could still be heard at this time.

The Imperial Dict. (1883) records an obsolete pronunciation /ɒˈbliːdʒ/ .
H. C. Wyld, in Hist. Mod. Colloq. English (ed. 3, 1936) 226, concludes from the following quotation that in the mid 18th cent. /əˈblaɪdʒ/ was a colloquial pronunciation which received some criticism, while another pronunciation, perhaps /əˈbliːdʒ/ , was perceived as more correct:

1749   Ld. Chesterfield Let. 27 Sept. (1932) IV. 1407     

Even his [sc. a vulgar man's] pronunciation of proper words carries the mark of the beast along with it... He is obleiged, not obliged, to you.
Modern French is likely to have influenced pronunciation of the word as /əˈbliːdʒ/ , especially during the 17th and 18th centuries.

However, it has also been suggested by Luick that this pronunciation may have developed within English (see discussion in E. J. Dobson Eng. Pronunc. 1500–1700 (ed. 2, 1968) II. §138 (3)).
In Middle English occasionally with prefixed past participle (compare y- prefix).

MEANINGS (significations, sense):
 I. To bind by oath, contract, etc.

1. trans. To bind (a person) by oath, promise, contract, etc.; to put under an obligation, to engage, commit. Freq. with to or infinitive.

a1325   Statutes of Realm (2011) vii. 43  

Ant also wan ani diez biþoute testament, ant be iobliged to ani oþer in dette, ant his godes comez into ordinaries hond for te ordeinen, þe ordinaries, fram nou forthward, sullen ansuuerie to þe dettes þe wile þat te godes of þe dede lastez.
c1325  (▸c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) 7995   Þo adde william vr him vaste iobliged [a1400 Trin. Cambr. oblisched] þe king of scotlond.
a1350  (▸?c1280)    Conception of Mary (Ashm.) 108 in C. Horstmann Altengl. Legenden (1875) 1st Ser. 70 (MED),   Joachim..bihete god, ȝif þt he wolde eny child hem sende, To godes seruice oblege [v.rr. oblegi, Oblisen] hi wolde þt child.
1405   Rolls of Parl. III. 605/2   Our forsaid Attornees..oblyssyng fulfill all maner accordez.
c1450   Alphabet of Tales (1904) I. 39 (MED),   He..oblissid hym to feght with hym in þe quarell.
c1475  (▸?c1400)    Apol. Lollard Doctr. (1842) 41   Þei oblesche no man to þer maner of pouert.
1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. ii,   All menne were perdoned..whiche othe be obliged truly to serue and obeye hym.
1580   in T. G. Law Catholic Tractates (1901)    Everie subiect is oblished in his obey the iust lawes of his magistrat.
a1657   R. Loveday Lett. (1663) 275,   I inclos'd the a Letter to my Brother, and oblig'd him to be very careful in sending it.
1690   J. Locke Two Treat. Govt. ii. vi. §73   It has been commonly suppos'd, That a Father could oblige his Posterity to that Government, of which he himself was a Subject.
1759   Johnson Prince of Abissinia I. viii. 54   My father had obliged me to the improvement of my stock, not by a promise..but by a penalty which I was at liberty to incur.
1880   J. Muirhead tr. Gaius Institutes iii. 216   Slaves..cannot be obliged to any other person.
1880   J. Muirhead tr. Gaius Institutes iii. 229   In nomina, while one, by making an entry to the other's debit, lays him under obligation, it is only the latter that is obliged.

 a. trans. (refl.). To bind oneself by an oath, promise, or contract; to come under an obligation, to pledge, engage oneself. With to, †unto, infinitive, or that-clause. Obs.

c1325  (▸c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) 2161 (MED),   Hii hom wolde obligi & sikernesse vinde gode To bere hom clene hor truage.
a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) Num. xxi. 2   Irael, by vow hym self to þe lord obleschynge, seiþ ȝif þou take þis peple in myn honde, y shal doon awey his cytees.
a1425  (▸?c1375)    N. Homily Legendary (Harl.) in C. Horstmann Altengl. Legenden (1881) 2nd Ser. 129 (MED),   Swilk drede in hert had þai ilkane Þat þai oblist þam..To hald þe couenand made byforne.
a1450   York Plays 117 (MED),   Thy hande-mayden for soth am I, And to thi seruice I oblissh me.
c1480  (▸a1400)    St. George 503 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) II. 190   Þane sais þe wich: ‘gyf I ne ma ourcum his craft..I oblise me..but ransoninge to thole dede.’
1526   in J. Cooper Cartularium Eccl. St. Nicholai Aberdonensis (1888) I. 154   We bind and obles ws and our successouris..that [etc.].
1542   in A. J. Mill Mediaeval Plays (1927) 148   Alexander Kayn wes accusit in jugment for his vyff becaus he oblegit hym to anser for hir deidis.
c1600   Diurnal of Remarkable Occurrents (1833) 308   We obleiss ws, and promeiss that..the said abstinence of weir..sall continew.
1609   W. M. Man in Moone sig. Fv,   You: who hauing plighted your faith, and solemnly obliged your selfe vnto an husband, are now become most faithlesse and perfidious.
1669   G. Miège Relation of Three Embassies 313   The time for which he had obliged himself being expired.
1721   in T. W. Marsh Some Rec. Early Friends in Surrey & Sussex (1886) iii. 29   We Desire John Croker to take his place and..we doe obleadg our selves to give him 40 shili.
1890   Pall Mall Gaz. 9 Sept. 7/3   In gratitude for the bequest of Preston, the town council obliged themselves to his son to build that aisle to his memory.

 b. intr. Sc.


To commit oneself, promise, give an undertaking.

a1500  (▸c1425)    Andrew of Wyntoun Oryg. Cron. Scotl. (Nero) iii. l. 265   Off Iuda Þan þe barnage al Þam oblist erare hym to ta.
1567   in J. Row Hist. Kirk Scotl. (1842) 34   That these præsent oblishes to reforme themselves.
1579  (▸c1501)    G. Douglas Palice of Honour (Edinb.) 1001 in Shorter Poems (2003) 67,   I obleis be my hand, He sall obserue in all pointis ȝour behest.
1634   in J. Row Hist. Kirk Scotl. (1842) 374   We..undersubscryve, and oblishes and promises to obey the wholl contents of the said letter.
1875   Border Treasuring 15 May 477   Aw had obleegd to come hame to the wife agyen.
3. trans.

 a. To make (property, etc.) a guarantee or security for the discharge of a promise or debt; to pledge, pawn, mortgage. Also fig.: to pledge (one's life, honour, etc.). Obs.

c1325  (▸c1300)    Chron. Robert of Gloucester (Calig.) 6771   Þe emperour of rome to him..Obligede [v.r. Obleged] bi his messagers alle þing þat was his.
1395   J. Purvey Remonstr. against Romish Corruptions (Titus) (1851) 81   King Jon..oblisshide his rewme of Ingelond and his lordshipe of Irlond in a thousand mark, to be paied yeer bi yeer.
a1425  (▸c1395)    Bible (Wycliffite, L.V.) (Royal) (1850) Prov. xxii. 26   Nyle thou be with hem that oblischen [a1382 E.V. ficche doun] her hondis, and that proferen hem silf borewis for dettis.
1474   Caxton tr. Game & Playe of Chesse (1883) iii. viii. 152   Yf thou wilt oblige thy sowle to me ayenst my hors, I wolle..playe wyth the.
a1513   J. Irland Meroure of Wyssdome (1926) I. 92   This satisfaccioune mone be maid of a thing that is nocht sua oblist to God be ane vthire manere..of dete.
1675   A. Marvell Let. 11 May in Poems & Lett. (1971) II. 155   The Gentlemen..were ordered to oblige each their Honour not to take any resentment.
1700   J. Tyrrell Gen. Hist. Eng. II. 928   [He] forbid all the oblige their Lay-Fees to the See of Rome.
1750   W. Beawes Lex Mercatoria (1752) 113   The ship is tacitly obliged for their wages.

 b. Sc. To agree, commit to (a promise, a course of action).

a1522   G. Douglas tr. Virgil Æneid (1960) xiii. iii. 83   The haly promys and the bandis gent Of pece and concord oblisit and sworn.

 4. to be obliged : to be morally or legally bound; (more generally) to be under a necessity, to be behoved. Freq. with to (or †till) or infinitive.Now overlapping with sense 13.

1340   Ayenbite (1866) 113 (MED),   Þe y-obliged to zuo ane greate gauelinge þet he ne heþ miȝte to hit endi, þet is, to þe pine of helle.
1398   in T. Rymer Fœdera (1710) VIII. 54   To the fulfillyng of the qwhilk the..Wardain of the Est Marche of Scotland is oblist, be his Letter to Sire Henri Percy..and the said Sire Henry is oblist, be his Letter to the said Erle.
a1425  (▸a1400)    Northern Pauline Epist. Hebr. ii. 15 (MED),   He schulde delyuere þem þe whiche..were oblyschid to seruage by alle þer lyfe.
c1480  (▸a1400)    St. Adrian 165 in W. M. Metcalfe Legends Saints Sc. Dial. (1896) II. 276   He wes obliste til his wyfe to speke with hir in-to his lyfe.
1484   Caxton tr. Subtyl Historyes & Fables Esope ix,   I promysed to the nought at al, in the presence of whom I am oblyged or bound.
1515   in H. Rose & L. Shaw Geneal. Deduction Family Rose of Kilravock (1848) 186   To the..keping of all thir conditionis..bayth the sadis parteis ar oblist and suorn ayn till other.
1552   Abp. J. Hamilton Catech. i. vi. f. 17,   We ar oblissit to lufe god.
1609   J. Skene tr. Regiam Majestatem (Stat. Will. c. 19) f. 5 b,   The wyfe is nocht oblisched to accuse hir husband.
1673   W. Cave Primitive Christianity iii. i. 268   That Duty and Respect, wherein we stand obliged to others.
1709   J. Strype Ann. Reformation xxi. 244   Martyr excused his coming, partly because he was obliged to the city and church of Zurick.
1757   D. Hume Hist. Great Brit. II. 63   The Princess Henrietta was obliged to lie abed, for want of a fire to warm her.
1810   S. Horsley Serm. (1811) 439   Thus it should seem that Christians are clearly obliged to the observance of a Sabbath.
1892   Times 24 Sept. 12/2   Foreign farmers are obliged to market their corn immense distances by rail, canal, and sea.
1940   J. F. Kennedy Why Eng. Slept (1962) iv. 69   By the treaty Germany was not allowed to have an air fleet; if, therefore, she was building one, England would either be obliged to declare the Treaty was at an end or be prepared to go in and stop her.
1981   A. Gray Lanark iii. iii. 22   It should last until you find work, but if you spend it before then this card entitles you to present another claim, which we shall be obliged, in due course, to honour.
 5. trans.

 a. With simple object: to bind (a person, conscience, etc.), to be binding on. Also intr. rare after 17th cent.

a1402   J. Trevisa tr. R. Fitzralph Defensio Curatorum (1925) 68 (MED),   He..seide þat freres beþ nouȝt y-holde to kepe þat heeste þat may nouȝt oblege wiþout assent of freres, & namelich, wiþ-oute assent of mynystres..& hit oblegide [v.r. oblege] his successour in noon maner wise, for of twey peres noþer haþ power & heeste ouer oþer.
c1475  (▸?c1400)    Apol. Lollard Doctr. (1842) 101 (MED),   Four þingis are requirid to ilk vowe þat oblischiþ.
a1540  (▸c1460)    G. Hay tr. Bk. King Alexander 1944   Sen he haid oblist king for king..and onlie man for man.
1643   W. Prynne Soveraigne Power Parl. i. 47   Yet these Lawes would no wayes obliege them, unlesse they voluntarily consented and submitted to them in Parliament.
1673   A. Marvell Rehearsal Transpros'd II. 241   You say they are no Laws unless they oblige the Conscience.
1722   W. Wollaston Relig. of Nature vii. 153   Two inconsistent laws cannot both oblige.
1962   J. L. Austin et al. How to do Things with Words i. 10  

   Thus ‘I promise to..’ obliges me—puts on record my spiritual assumption of a spiritual shackle.

 b. Of an oath, promise, law, command, etc.: to bind (a person). With to or infinitive.Now overlapping with sense 13.

c1450   Comm. on Canticles (Bodl. 288) in T. Arnold Sel. Eng. Wks. J. Wyclif (1871) III. 70 (MED),   Gode deedis, in Goddis myraclis, oblischen men moore to serve God.
1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. xxviijv,   The statutes and ordinaunces..dothe not oblige and bynde them to that case, but in certayne poyntes.
?1591   R. Bruce Serm. Sacrament i. sig. D7,   The command oblishes zou to obey.
1649   W. Ball Power of Kings 8   As the Kings Oath tieth and obligeth Him to the People, certainly the Peoples Oath tieth and obligeth them to the King.
1741   I. Watts Improvem. Mind i. i. 29   Christianity so much the more obliges invoke the Assistance of the true God.
1865   W. G. Palgrave Narr. Journey through Arabia I. 449   The names of those whom vicinity obliges to attendance are read over morning and evening.
1907   E. M. Forster Longest Journey iii. xxix,   The letter censured the law of England, which obliges us to behave like this.
1992   Fleet Street Rep. 19 210   Neither those regulations nor any general principle of Community law obliges companies to do any more than supply the Commission with such information or documentation as it has requested under Article 11 of Regulation 17.
II. trans. To make liable to punishment, etc.

 a. To make (a person) subject or liable to (or til) a bond, penalty, etc.

1340   Ayenbite (1866) 113   Þe y-obliged to zuo ane greate gauelinge.
c1390   Chaucer Parson's Tale 847   This cursed synne anoyeth hire soule, for he obligeth it to synne and to peyne of deeth.
c1425   Castle of Love (Egerton) (1967) l. 62   Alas, that synne oblisched vs al til wikkid hell-fire!
1533   J. Gau tr. C. Pedersen Richt Vay 105   Quhen Adam sinnit he oblist hime self and al his offspring to the eternal deid.
1649   Bp. J. Taylor Great Exemplar Pref. §14   It is to be inquired how these became laws; obliging us to sin, if we transgress.

 b. refl.  [After classical Latin sē obligāre (especially in legal texts).] To render oneself liable to punishment, to involve oneself in guilt or legal liability.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) : Prov. (Bodl. 959) xiii. 13   Who bacbiteþ to any thyng, he oblischiþ hymself in to tyme to comen [L. ipse se in futurum obligat].
1880   J. Muirhead tr. Gaius Institutes iii. 257   Most agree that, as theft depends upon intent, such a child can only oblige himself in respect of it when he is close upon puberty.
III. trans. To bind with physical ties and related senses.

 7. In pass. To be fettered, to be ensnared.

a1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) (Bodl. 959) (1965) Psalms xix. 9   Þei ben oblisht [L. obligati sunt] & fellen.
a1500  (▸c1340)    R. Rolle Psalter (Univ. Oxf. 64) (1884) xix. 9   Thai ere obligid, and thai fell.

 8. To fasten or attach closely; to bind, tie up. Obs.

1656   T. Stanley Hist. Philos. II. viii. 114   Touching is a spirit, extended from the Hegemonick part to the superficies, so that it perceiveth that which is obliged to it.
1718   P. Motteux Don Quixote (1865) ii. xvi. 293   As soon as Maritornes had fastened him, she..left him so strongly obliged, that it was impossible he should disengage himself.
 IV. To make indebted.

 a. trans. To bind or make indebted by conferring a favour; to gratify with or by doing something; to perform a service or kindness for, confer a favour on. Formerly (also): †to be of service to, to benefit

a1450   Rule St. Benet (Vesp.) (1902) 2074 (MED),   If a woman..religion wil to hir craue, And hase non entisment þertil Bot oblis hir awn wil, Fully resauyed sal scho not be.
1567   G. Turberville tr. Ovid Heroycall Epist. 71   And oblige mee unto thee by this boone.
a1610   J. Healey tr. Theophrastus Characters (1636) 83   If any man be oblig'd, he will command him to remember the favour.
1615   G. Sandys Relation of Journey 2   Here take oh Zani this ring of gold, and by giuing it to the sea, oblige it vnto thee.
1626   T. Hawkins tr. N. Caussin Holy Court 38   Pliny..pronounceth..That the greatest diuinity is to see a mortall man oblige his like.
c1650   J. Row & J. Row Hist. Kirk Scotl. (1842) lviiii,   The quhilk commissioun wald be reformitt, cousand the banchors heir oblis thame in euerting expences.
1670   C. Cotton tr. G. Girard Hist. Life Duke of Espernon i. ii. 60   That her Family had oblig'd Hungary with a Queen, and France with a Gaston de Foix.
1704   W. M. Female Wits Pref. sig. A,   It having been..likely to have continued much longer, had the Company thought fit to oblige the Taste of the Town in General.
1775   R. B. Sheridan Rivals v. iii,   O pray, Faulkland, fight to oblige Sir Lucius.
1841   Dickens Barnaby Rudge xv. 15   Oblige me with the milk.
1885   Law Rep.: Queen's Bench Div. 15 413   The customer requested the appellant, to oblige her, to send the loaves home with other goods she had purchased.
1902   H. James Wings of Dove I. xii. 268   You say you can do exactly as you like. Oblige me therefore by being so good as to do it.
1975   R. Davies World of Wonders (1977) ii. ii. 165   None of them seemed anxious to oblige the escape-artist by tying him up.
1992   Great Lakes Fisherman Jan. 39/3   Lake Superior's Keweenaw Bay..usually has sold ice in January, and coho salmon, brown trout and whitefish oblige anglers with steady action.

b. trans. Of a service, kindness, etc.: to benefit, create a debt of gratitude in.

1638   R. Baker tr. J. L. G. de Balzac New Epist. II. 85   If this tendernesse proceeded from a soft effeminate spirit, yet it would..oblige me infinitely unto you.
1685   R. Baxter Paraphr. New Test. Romans xvi. 4   The..helping an eminent Minister, may oblige many Churches.
1769   J. Sinclair Corr. (1831) II. 439   Your early attention to this application, will much oblige, Sir, your very faithful and obedient servant.

 c. intr. colloq. To create a debt of gratitude. Now (usually): to perform a service or kindness; to do something desired or pleasing, esp. to entertain a gathering.

1734   Pope Epist. to Arbuthnot 208   So obliging that he ne'er oblig'd [rhyme besieg'd].
1865   Dickens Our Mutual Friend II. iii. vi. 48   Sir, would you obleege with the snuffers?
1888   Pall Mall Gaz. 16 Nov. 7/1   To-night, Mr. Grossmith..and all the talents will oblige.
1897   tr. Balzac Cousin Pons 12   He ‘obliged’ at the pianoforte.
1899   Westm. Gaz. 15 Apr. 2/1   A chairman was elected, obliged with a song, and then called upon a member of the company. When gents were shy, or dry, or both, professional talent obliged.
1910   A. Bennett Clayhanger i. x. 83   Gentleman all, Miss Florence Simcox..the champion clog-dancer of the Midlands, will now oblige.
1942   E. Waugh Put out More Flags (1943) ii. 69   There it is, mum. I'm sorry not to oblige.
1978   A. S. Byatt Virgin in Garden i. ix. 85   Once or twice he beat with frantic fists in the panel of the door, requiring answers, exits, explanations, which Marcus did not oblige with.

 d. intr. euphem. To act as a charwoman or cleaner. Also trans.: to clean for (a person); to assist (a person) with housework.

1933   D. C. Peel Life's Enchanted Cup xix. 259   The mother took in washing and went out to ‘oblige’ and earned roughly 22s. a week and some of her food.
1937   E. Garnett Family from One End St. i. 13   She occasionally did odd work to ‘oblige’ Mrs. Theobald, the Vicar's wife.
1958   J. Cannan And be Villain iii. 51   I'm not in service. I oblige by the hour.
1963   A. Lubbock Austral. Roundabout 165   Twice a week a lady came to ‘oblige’ in the house.
1972   ‘A. Armstrong’ One Jump Ahead i. 8   A bachelor who..paid well and wasn't too fussy..was a far better proposition than some others she had ‘obliged’.
1984   S. T. Warner One Thing leading to Another (1985) 3   On Saturdays she could not come in the morning at all but obliged for an hour in the evening.

 a. trans. (in pass.). To be indebted or grateful to a person or (occas.) a thing. Chiefly formal in later use.

1548   Hall's Vnion: Henry VII f. xxxix,   Yf yt chaunce me by your recouer..I..shalbe so muche obliged and bounde vnto you.
1619   Sir H. Wotton Let. in S. R. Gardiner Lett. Relations Eng. & Germany (1865) 1st Ser. 49   For the foresaid resolution in youre Matie ymplying..the good of so manie of your freindes, they held themselves eternally obliged.
1693   R. Bentley Boyle Lect. viii. 38   To those Hills..we are obliged for all our Metals.
1726   Four Years Voy. Capt. G. Roberts 53,   I told them, I was very much obliged to them for their Good-will.
1791   Gentleman's Mag. Jan. 32/2   The republick of letters is infinitely obliged to M. Coste for the pains he has taken.
1836   Macaulay in G. O. Trevelyan Life & Lett. Macaulay (1876) I. vi. 453   There is an oversight in the article on Bacon, which I shall be much obliged to you to correct.
1881   O. Wilde More Lett. (1985) 35,   I am much obliged for the present of your exquisitely pretty book.
1927   A. Conan Doyle Case-bk. Sherlock Holmes 26,   I am exceedingly obliged to you for your co-operation.
1985   P. O'Donnell Dead Man's Handle xv. 224   We..are vastly obliged to you..for booking us into the Royal Oak tonight.
1990   L. Keane False Impressions (BNC) iii,   ‘Well, they can just think again,’ replied Rachel hotly, ‘and if anyone says anything to you on those lines I would be obliged if you would put them straight.’

 b. much obliged: ‘I am very grateful’, ‘thank you very much’.

1788   J. O'Keeffe Farmer ii. ii. 35   Col. Dor.: Well, I'll speak to him. Jem.: Much obliged—here he is!
1866   W. Collins Armadale (ed. 3) II. ii. v. 53   ‘I have very few friends, Mr. Pedgift,’ returned Allan simply. ‘And I am sure you are one of the few.’ ‘Much obliged, Mr. Armadale.’
1931   W. Faulkner Sanctuary xx. 215   ‘I'll give you a ride, this time,’ the driver said. ‘Much obliged,’ Horace said.
1992   G. M. Fraser Quartered Safe out Here 71   ‘W'eer the 'ell ye gan to ga in India—unless yer Jock theer, an' look like a bloody wog.’ ‘Much obliged.’ ‘No offence, lad.’

11. trans. To gratify, please, charm. Also intr.

1652 [implied in: 16521652   in E. Nicholas Nicholas Papers (1886–92) 293   His Majesty's gracious letter..was not only most welcome but very obliging. (at obliging adj. 1b)].
1673   E. de Refuge Art of Complaisance 8   Without which it is impossible to oblige in conversation.
1679   G. Rose tr. P. Boaistuau Theatre of World Ded. 2   Perceiving many things in it which did oblige my fancy.
1709   Swift Crit. Ess.   It was reasonable to suppose, you would be very much obliged with any thing, that was new.
 V. trans. To constrain, compel.

 12. To constrain, influence; to force, compel (a person). Freq. in pass. With to or infinitive.

1632   J. Hayward tr. G. F. Biondi Eromena 91,   I will obey you (my Lord) for all things oblige me so to doe.
1641   R. Baillie Lett. & Jrnls (1841) I. 394   That the oath which he had invented, obliedged the ane accurate tryall of all plotters.
1654   E. Wolley tr. G. de Scudéry Curia Politiæ 66   See here the reasons which obliged this illustrious Prince to his resolution, and the true Motives of so glorious an action.
1675   in J. D. Marwick Extracts Rec. Burgh Glasgow (1905) III. 203   To obleidge all liver and loaden all veschellis at Port Glasgow.
1715   D. Defoe Family Instructor i. iii. 75   From this time I resolve to oblige all my Family to serve God.
1722   D. Defoe Jrnl. Plague Year 176   Self-preservation oblig'd the People to those Severities.
1776   Trial Maha Rajah Nundocomar for Forgery 23/2   He is so weak that he has been obliged to be held up by people when he came out of the house.
1808   Z. M. Pike Acct. Exped. Sources Mississippi iii. 215,   I will give you a certificate from under my hand of my having obliged you to march.
1875   W. D. Howells Foregone Concl. 129   It is flattering to a man to be indispensable to a woman so long as he is not obliged to it.
1896   T. F. Tout Edward I (ed. 2) iv. 83   The royal officials committed so many misdeeds that the king on his return was obliged to make a stern example.
1905   E. Wharton House of Mirth ii. x. 469   I'm obliged to work for my living.
1947   E. Waugh Diaries (1979) 689,   I dug the garden and became so painfully stiff that I was obliged to stop.
1987   M. Flannagan Trust (1988) xv. xix. 173,   I was obliged by every sense of honour to help you.

13. To make imperative; to necessitate.

1638   T. Herbert Some Yeares Trav. (rev. ed.) 82   In some sort to oblige their dependance upon his acts and fortunes.
1741   S. Richardson Pamela III. xiii. 60   Policy..obliged from the dear Gentleman this Frankness and Acknowlegement.
1866   Cornhill Mag. Dec. 734   The custom of the Elizabethan theatre obliged this double authorship.

14. To restrain from action, etc.

c1661   Argyle's Last Will in Harl. Misc. (1746) VIII. 29/1   [Argyle] oblige from the Rebellion then on Foot, created a Marquis.
1674   in E. E. Rich Minutes Hudson's Bay Co. (1942) 110   That the seaman & all others be obliged from any trade in all kinde of furres.
1709   J. Johnson Clergy-man's Vade Mecum: Pt. II p. lxxi,   To oblige the delinquent from the exercise of his function.

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