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

But the new lease also obligated the county to buy riverfront land currently owned by Hilltop Basic Resources, so the Bengals can build a new practice facility there. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "County officials are about to spend a lot of your money. They don't want to talk about it.," 9 July 2019 And eight, including Simosuchus, were identified by OPCR as obligate herbivores. The Economist, "Vegetarian crocodiles once roamed the world," 28 June 2019 These are fairly straightforward claims: As Drummond tells it, Williamson acted in bad faith by side-dealing with CAA while he was contractually obligated to Ford and while Ford was negotiating with multiple companies on Williamson’s behalf. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Analyzing the $100 Million Lawsuit Against Zion Williamson and CAA," 20 June 2019 The sticking point was a draft law obligating haredi Orthodox men to participate in Israel’s mandatory military draft. Sam Sokol, sun-sentinel.com, "Why did Avigdor Liberman force new elections in Israel?," 10 June 2019 Due to the unforeseen blackout and subsequent concert cancellation, Lopez was not contractually obligated to put on another show. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Lopez Returns to MSG for an Electrifying Performance After N.Y.C. Blackout," 16 July 2019 But with the expansion, Navistar is obligated to carry at least 271 people on payroll. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al.com, "Navistar plans $125 million Huntsville expansion, 145 new jobs," 14 June 2019 The conundrum is clear: If Ashley was harmed on the reservation, the federal government is obligated to investigate, but if she was harmed elsewhere, other agencies, like county sheriffs’ departments, would take the lead. Eric Ogden, Marie Claire, "The Invisible Victims," 10 June 2019 The Postal Service, which processes 14 million parcels each day, is also obligated by law to deliver all international parcels. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Drug traffickers’ favorite way to move fentanyl is FedEx and USPS," 30 May 2019

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

5 Aug 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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