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

The contract, which dates back to 2010, obligates Netflix to pay a premium rate for Relativity’s films and is the troubled studio’s most valuable remaining asset. Tom Corrigan, WSJ, "Relativity, Netflix Settle Yearslong Legal Battle," 2 Aug. 2018 In fact, not only has none of the $251 million been obligated, $95,283 has been taken away from the West Bank and Gaza account, according to the website. Washington Post, "US Embassy move in Israel emblematic of broader policy shift," 25 Apr. 2018 By obligating disclosures, all posts from sources that received data would forever be tagged with a disclaimer. Jeff Stibel, USA TODAY, "Facebook fallout: Our brains aren't as well equipped to decide if a company is trustworthy," 29 May 2018 By declaring that the health and safety problems in public housing constitute a public nuisance, the executive order, pursuant to state public health law, obligates the city to cover those costs. Luis FerrÉ-sadurnÍ And Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Cuomo Order on Public Housing May Carry Big Costs for City," 23 Apr. 2018 To test vehicles in any state, Uber and its rivals must meet financial-responsibility laws that obligate all car owners to carry insurance. Leslie Scism, WSJ, "Insurers Race to Develop Coverage for Driverless Cars," 21 Mar. 2018 Part of this is undoubtedly due to the city’s zoning laws, which have requirements baked in that obligate the creation of curbside parking spaces for each new building. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "New York City is the perfect scooter market, but it’s also the most impossible," 11 Aug. 2018 His amendment—which can be found here in the Congressional record—reads as follows: None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be obligated or expended for the development of a beerbot or other robot bartender. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "A Senator Wants to End Funding for MIT's Beerbots," 31 Aug. 2018 Rubin received a $90 million exit package that Google wasn’t obligated to grant, according to the Times, along with a supportive statement from Page. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Google employees worldwide are walking out today to protest handling of sexual misconduct," 1 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for obligate

Last Updated

13 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for obligate

The first known use of obligate was in 1533

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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

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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 obligatory (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on obligate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with obligate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obligate

Spanish Central: Translation of obligate

Nglish: Translation of obligate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obligate for Arabic Speakers

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