obligate

verb
ob·​li·​gate | \ ˈä-blə-ˌgāt How to pronounce obligate (audio) \
obligated; obligating

Definition of obligate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bind legally or morally : constrain You are obligated to repay the loan.
2 : to commit (something, such as funds) to meet an obligation funds obligated for new projects

obligate

adjective
ob·​li·​gate | \ ˈä-bli-gət How to pronounce obligate (audio) , -blə-ˌgāt \

Definition of obligate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : restricted to one particularly characteristic mode of life an obligate parasite
2 : biologically essential for survival obligate mutualism

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from obligate

Adjective

obligately adverb

Examples of obligate in a Sentence

Verb The contract obligates the firm to complete the work in six weeks. the problem is of your own making, so don't think that you can obligate me to help
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb State statutes across the country, not qualified immunity, obligate local governments to pay officers' legal fees as well as settlements and judgments in civil cases, according to Schwartz. Emma Tucker, CNN, "States tackling 'qualified immunity' for police as Congress squabbles over the issue," 23 Apr. 2021 In practice, passport proponents would obligate us to show our papers for every aspect of social life. WSJ, "Covid Vaccine Passports: Coming to a Store Near You?," 6 Apr. 2021 Nothing in these Official Rules shall obligate Sponsor to publish or otherwise use any entry submitted in connection with this Contest. TIME.com, "2021 Kid Reporter Contest Rules," 29 Mar. 2021 Just because this blowzy couple latches onto you and seems to like you a lot does not obligate you to like them in return. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: An offer of prayer doesn’t sit well with patient’s spouse," 28 Feb. 2021 Just because this blowsy couple latches onto you and seems to like you a lot does not obligate you to like them in return. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Dear Abby: Wife stunned when in-home physical therapy session includes offer of a prayer," 28 Feb. 2021 Just because this blowsy couple latches onto you and seems to like you a lot does not obligate you to like them in return. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "An offer of prayer doesn’t sit well," 28 Feb. 2021 Each futures contract will obligate the buyer and seller to trade ten acre-feet of water. Steve H. Hanke, National Review, "Scarce Water Finally Receives Its Due, Namely a Price," 7 Dec. 2020 According to Segal, if the coming vaccine is not free, the law does not obligate employers to pay for the cost of a mandatory shot. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Can your boss make you get a COVID vaccine? Probably," 29 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Cats are obligate carnivores, so quality cat food should consist primarily of meat. Lauren Corona, chicagotribune.com, "Can dogs eat cat food?," 26 Feb. 2021 Indeed, the variety Dr Abe chose to work with, known as the Notojima strain, is, like the bdelloids, an obligate parthenogen. The Economist, "Irradiating small animals used as fish food makes them bigger," 23 Jan. 2021 And because cats are obligate carnivores, meat is the name of the game. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "How to Adopt a Cat, and What to Know About Bringing One Home," 2 June 2020 About 50 kinds of lizards reproduce exclusively by asexual means (obligate parthenogenesis), plus the one species of snake mentioned above. Quanta Magazine, "How to Breed a Pomsky and Other Questions About Dogs and Sex," 18 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obligate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of obligate

Verb

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1887, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obligate

Verb

borrowed from Latin obligātus, past participle of obligāre "to tie up, restrain by tying, place under a legal or moral constraint" — more at oblige

Adjective

borrowed from German obligat "necessary, unavoidable," borrowed from Latin obligātus "under an obligation," from past participle of obligāre "to tie up, restrain by tying, place under a legal or moral constraint" — more at oblige

Note: In biological sense apparently adapted from use of German obligat by the mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary (1831-88) in Vergleichende Morphologie und Biologie der Pilze, Mycetozoen und Bacterien (Leipzig, 1884), p. 382 ff.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obligate

Time Traveler for obligate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obligate was in 1533

See more words from the same year

Statistics for obligate

Last Updated

25 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obligate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligate. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obligate

obligate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of obligate

: to make (a person or organization) do something because the law requires it or because it is the right thing to do

obligate

verb
ob·​li·​gate | \ ˈä-blə-ˌgāt How to pronounce obligate (audio) \
obligated; obligating

Kids Definition of obligate

: to make (someone) do something by law or because it is right The contract obligates you to pay monthly.

obligate

adjective
ob·​li·​gate | \ ˈäb-li-gət How to pronounce obligate (audio) , -lə-ˌgāt How to pronounce obligate (audio) \

Medical Definition of obligate

1 : restricted to one particularly characteristic mode of life or way of functioning the infant is an obligate nose breatherJournal of the American Medical Association an obligate parasite
2 : biologically essential for survival obligate parasitism

Other Words from obligate

obligately adverb

Keep scrolling for more

obligate

transitive verb
ob·​li·​gate | \ ˈä-blə-ˌgāt How to pronounce obligate (audio) \
obligated; obligating

Legal Definition of obligate

1 : to bind legally or morally was obligated to pay child support
2 : to commit (as funds or property) to meet or provide security for an obligation

Other Words from obligate

obligatory \ ə-​ˈbli-​gə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce obligate (audio) \ adjective

Comments on obligate

What made you want to look up obligate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!