obligation

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obligation

1. Law a legally enforceable agreement to perform some act, esp to pay money, for the benefit of another party
2. Law
a. a written contract containing a penalty
b. an instrument acknowledging indebtedness to secure the repayment of money borrowed

Obligation

 

a relationship in civil law wherein one party (the debtor) is obliged to perform a certain action (transfer property, perform work, pay money) for the benefit of another party (the creditor) or to refrain from performing the action. The creditor in turn has the right to require the debtor to carry out his obligation. Under Soviet law the parties to an obligation are socialist organizations and citizens. Obligations generally arise from a contract, from planning or other administrative directives, from the infliction of property damage subject to compensation, or from the unjust acquisition or holding of property.

Depending on the rights and duties of the parties, obligations may be classified as those involving transfer of property to ownership or operational management, with or without compensation; transfer of property for use, with or without compensation; performance of work or services; or the protection of socialist and personal property or other property rights.

If several creditors or several debtors are involved in an obligation, its manner of performance is determined by the object of the obligation and the conditions of the agreement of the parties. If each of the participants in the obligation is required to perform a certain (equal or unequal) part of the obligation, the obligation is called a joint obligation. If the creditor has the right to demand performance of the obligation in full from any one of the creditors (in which case the other participants in the obligation are released from liability), the obligation is called a joint and several (solidary) obligation. Performance of an obligation may be secured by an additional obligation. If the obligation is not performed voluntarily, the debtor can be compelled to perform the obligation by a court or arbitration board.

An obligation may be terminated by setting-off a similar counterclaim, by agreement between the parties, if the performance of the obligation is impossible and the debtor is not responsible, or by the dissolution of a legal person (debtor or creditor) unless performance of the obligation is assigned by law to another legal person.

References in classic literature ?
Yes, sir, that is true, and I am grateful for all favors, I am sure; and anything that I could do to oblige you, or the lady, I should be proud and happy to do; but I can't give up my Sundays, sir, indeed I can't.
If Norah's and Magdalen's altered prospects oblige them to earn their own independence, I can help them to earn it, as a gentleman's daughters should.
Yes, and suppose your father should bring matters to a pass that will oblige you to decline marrying her--and to give your reasons?
Well, seeing you're in difficulties, I don't mind doing what I can--just to oblige you-- so long as I don't have to wash the creatures.
Were it I thought Death menac't would ensue This my attempt, I would sustain alone The worst, and not perswade thee, rather die Deserted, then oblige thee with a fact Pernicious to thy Peace, chiefly assur'd Remarkably so late of thy so true, So faithful Love unequald; but I feel Farr otherwise th' event, not Death, but Life Augmented, op'nd Eyes, new Hopes, new Joyes, Taste so Divine, that what of sweet before Hath toucht my sense, flat seems to this, and harsh.
She don't know what a kiss means, and if she did, is it likely that she'd kiss me when a fine man like the inspector here would be only too happy to oblige her.
The captain was very well satisfied with this plain relation I had given him, and said, "he hoped, when we returned to England, I would oblige the world by putting it on paper, and making it public.
Stay, Harry, to oblige Dorian, and to oblige me," said Hallward, gazing intently at his picture.
To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
I did not press him much, for since he had come so to meet me, and put himself to so much expense, it was but reasonable I should oblige him a little too; so I was easy as to that point.
But, sir, the essence of the sacrament of matrimony" (so he called it, being a Roman) "consists not only in the mutual consent of the parties to take one another as man and wife, but in the formal and legal obligation that there is in the contract to compel the man and woman, at all times, to own and acknowledge each other; obliging the man to abstain from all other women, to engage in no other contract while these subsist; and, on all occasions, as ability allows, to provide honestly for them and their children; and to oblige the women to the same or like conditions, on their side.
His chief reward for the painful exertion of disclosing past sorrows and present humiliations, was given in the pitying eye with which Marianne sometimes observed him, and the gentleness of her voice whenever (though it did not often happen) she was obliged, or could oblige herself to speak to him.