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

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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 Class sizes will be limited to 10 children, who will be obligated to wear masks, while kindergartens will remain closed through the end of May. Could the way schools are reopening in Denmark be a model for the U.S.? NBC News, "Locked-down families across Europe await verdicts on when schools will reopen," 24 Apr. 2020 Brian Stachacz, director of business services, said the request for bids will not obligate the district to do anything, and ultimately any infrastructure project is up to the board. Jesse Wright, chicagotribune.com, "Lyons Township High School plans updates to south campus air conditioning," 19 Nov. 2019 However, the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act obligates America to help Taiwan (the Republic of China) maintain its defenses against the People’s Republic of China. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Time is on Taiwan’s side — but it needs U.S. support," 26 Sep. 2019 The cancellation of mass came after Bishop Michael Barber of the Diocese of Oakland announced Friday that parishioners are not obligated to attend Sunday mass until further notice. Chronicle Staff, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: March 14-15," 24 Apr. 2020 Uber's brief portrays the situation differently than Levandowski, who told the court last month that Uber was legally obligated to pay the award. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Uber accuses Levandowski of fraud, refuses to pay $179M Google judgment," 20 Apr. 2020 Of that amount, $4 billion has been spent or obligated. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Texas reeling into recession from double blows of coronavirus, oil slump, Comptroller Glenn Hegar says," 1 Apr. 2020 As obligate air breathers, arapaimas can only stay underwater for 10 to 20 minutes. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 25 Feb. 2020 With the Port Authority obligated to pay 35 percent of the project’s cost and industry also expected to pay a substantial portion, port and company officials hope that Congress will appropriate money quickly. Andrea Leinfelder, Houston Chronicle, "Port Houston chairman urges Congress to widen, deepen ship channel," 6 Feb. 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.

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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.

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Time Traveler for obligate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obligate was in 1533

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Statistics for obligate

Last Updated

12 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obligate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligate. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for obligate

obligate

verb
How to pronounce obligate (audio)

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

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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 obligatory (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on obligate

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