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obligated; indebted:
a man beholden to no one.
Contemporary Examples

beholden to a base that, like a capricious autocrat, will turn against them at the slightest provocation.
Ted Cruz is Still Not Here to Make Friends Jamelle Bouie February 25, 2014

The religious parties themselves are not, contrary to popular assumption, beholden only to right-wing parties.
A Centrist Government in Israel? Brent E. Sasley January 17, 2013

Stille shows how his family, like all families, is beholden to elements both large and small.
The Nonfiction ‘Middlesex’: Alexander Stille’s ‘The Force of Things’ Nicholas Mancusi February 21, 2013

I had been too beholden to literary orthodoxy, too insistent that the narrative obey the strictures of reality.
A Mathematically Impossible Novel: Manil Suri Explains “The City of Devi” Manil Suri March 14, 2013

Its members would not be beholden to any special interest groups, at all, for their selection.
Is It Time to Take a Chance on Random Representatives? Michael Schulson November 7, 2014

Historical Examples

Many a man before had offered her gifts, and she had refused them every one; for she had no wish to be beholden to any man.
Children of the Dawn Elsie Finnimore Buckley

Then, sinking before him in a deep courtesy, “I am beholden to you,” she said.
The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington

This venerable dame appeared to gaze at the spectator from whatsoever situation she was beholden.
Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 2 (of 2) John Roby

You may be assured, that I will sooner be beholden to you, than to any body living.
Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson

“I am beholden to you, Master Salkeld,” he said, when I had done.
In the Days of Drake J. S. Fletcher

indebted; obliged; under a moral obligation

“under obligation,” mid-14c., originally past participle of behold (and preserving the original past participle of hold), but a sense directly related to this usage is not recorded among the many and varied meanings attested for behold.


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  • Behoof

    use; advantage; benefit: The money was spent for his own behoof. Historical Examples I wish to say that the tobacco lavished upon the espada was collected for the behoof of all the prisoners. Literature and Life William Dean Howells “Nay, I would not have you peril your life for my behoof,” she replied, with a […]

  • Behooves

    use; advantage; benefit: The money was spent for his own behoof. to be necessary or proper for, as for moral or ethical considerations; be incumbent on: It behooves the court to weigh evidence impartially. to be worthwhile to, as for personal profit or advantage: It would behoove you to be nicer to those who could […]

  • Behove

    behoove. Historical Examples It seemed to behove me to come to you and offer you my hand i’ your affliction. Julia And Her Romeo: A Chronicle Of Castle Barfield David Christie Murray There must be something behind all this; and so it behove him to keep his eyes open. The Count’s Millions Emile Gaboriau If […]

  • Be in for

    (used to indicate inclusion within space, a place, or limits): walking in the park. (used to indicate inclusion within something abstract or immaterial): in politics; in the autumn. (used to indicate inclusion within or occurrence during a period or limit of time): in ancient times; a task done in ten minutes. (used to indicate limitation […]

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