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

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 In South Carolina, for example, a provider must disclose the assault to their local sheriff’s department and include the victim’s contact information, although the law does not obligate law enforcement to follow up on the report. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 2 July 2022 Being a buy-and-hold investor doesn’t obligate you to use a death grip. Jason Zweig, WSJ, 8 July 2022 Leadership must strive to mature and obligate opportunity through support, guidance and goodwill. Peter Weedfald, Forbes, 30 June 2022 The 236-page agreement would obligate the county to make at least $10 million in renovations to Paul Brown Stadium. Scott Wartman, The Enquirer, 2 June 2022 In total, the Biden administration intends to obligate more than $713 million in foreign military financing for Ukraine and 15 other European countries, virtually all of whom have supported Ukraine's military from their own stockpiles. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 25 Apr. 2022 While the local government wanted to obligate all people entering the territory to be vaccinated, Paris initially deemed that French citizens could not be bound by such a rule. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2022 Digital rights activists have blasted a decision by Russian authorities to obligate foreign tech firms to open local offices starting Jan. 1, fearing that those subsidiaries can be used to pressure companies into Internet censorship. Washington Post, 24 Dec. 2021 And a point worth underscoring: Enabling a committee to probe whether impeachable crimes have been committed would not obligate the House of Representatives to follow through with formal impeachment proceedings. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 13 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective As obligate scavengers, condors use their powerful bills to tear into dead animals with tough skin, like sea lions, that smaller scavengers can’t. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 July 2022 Biologists have observed, over long periods of time, that species that are obligate parthenogens frequently die out from disease, parasitism or changes in habitat. Mercedes Burns, CNN, 27 Dec. 2021 Females of these species, which include some wasps, crustaceans and lizards, reproduce only through parthenogenesis and are called obligate parthenogens. Mercedes Burns, CNN, 27 Dec. 2021 Morels exhibit a lavish, almost obligate response to fire, flourishing most in the springtime after a fire has cleared an area and augmented the soil with carbon. Heather Arndt Anderson, Sunset Magazine, 13 Feb. 2020 Cats are obligate carnivores, so quality cat food should consist primarily of meat. Lauren Corona, chicagotribune.com, 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, 23 Jan. 2021 And because cats are obligate carnivores, meat is the name of the game. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, 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, 18 June 2020 See More

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.

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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The first known use of obligate was in 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near obligate

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obligate

obligation

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Obligate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligate. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for obligate

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on obligate

Nglish: Translation of obligate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of obligate for Arabic Speakers

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