Obligation

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Obligation


Quick Summary of Obligation


The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie to someone.



What is the dictionary definition of Obligation?

Dictionary Definition


  • Accounting: The duty to make a future payment that is incurred as soon as a purchase order is placed, encumbers a certain sum of money, and is called obligation incurred.
  • Law: A liability or duty to do something or refrain from doing something under the terms of a contract, such as the obligation of a borrower (the obligor) to pay back the lender (the obligee) under the terms of the loan agreement. Obligations usually involve a penalty for non-fulfilment.
  • General: A bond of moral duty (whether of necessity or of one’s own choosing) that ties two or more parties together.

Also:

  • The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie to someone.
  • A social, legal, or moral requirement, duty, contract, or promise that compels someone to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
  • A course of action imposed by society, law, or conscience by which someone is bound or restricted.

Full Definition of Obligation


An obligation is a requirement to take some course of action. It can be legal or moral. There are also obligations in other normative contexts, such as obligations of etiquette, social obligations, and possibly in terms of politics, obligations are requirements that are to fulfil. These are generally in the form of legal obligations, which incur a penalty for lack of fulfilment, although certain people are obliged to carry out certain actions for other reasons as well, which can be due to tradition or social reasons. Obligations vary from person to person, for example, a person holding a political office will generally have far more obligations than an average adult citizen, who themselves will have more obligations than a child. Obligations are generally granted in return for an increase in an individual’s rights or power.

Legal

Common obligations of citizens include a requirement to participate as a juror if called upon and to pay taxes, which is seen as a return for the right to participate in the electoral process and the financial and physical protection by the state. Another example, though not a common law obligation, is the US Constitutional requirement to participate in a census every ten years, which, like many legal obligations, often incurs a fine if not completed.

Other Uses

The term obligate can also be used in a biological context to refer to species which must occupy a certain niche or behave in a certain way in order to survive. In biology, the opposite of obligated is facultative, meaning a species is able to behave in a certain way and may do so under certain circumstances, but that it can survive without having to perform this certain behaviour. For example, species of salamanders in the family Proteidae are obligate paedomorphs, whereas species belonging to the Ambystomatidae are facultative paedomorphs.


Synonyms For Obligation


duty, responsibility, liability, requirement, commitment

Cite Term


To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
https://payrollheaven.com/define/obligation/
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Obligation. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 04, 2020 https://payrollheaven.com/define/obligation/.
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Obligation. PayrollHeaven.com. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. https://payrollheaven.com/define/obligation/ (accessed: July 04, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Obligation. PayrollHeaven.com. Retrieved July 04, 2020, from PayrollHeaven.com website: https://payrollheaven.com/define/obligation/

Definition Sources


Definitions for Obligation are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 25th April, 2020 | 12 Views.