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 In a conference call with reporters last week, DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the N.F.L. players’ union, said the union could only inform its members of the benefits of getting vaccinated, not obligate them to do so. New York Times, 17 June 2021 However, that does not obligate you to change your family vacation plans to suit her. Arkansas Online, 15 May 2021 However, that does not obligate you to change your family vacation plans to suit her. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 15 May 2021 Duty may obligate you to take a multigenerational vacation, but travel experts and family therapists say that a healthy dose of planning can keep it from being a stressful, miserable experience. Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2021 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, 23 Apr. 2021 In practice, passport proponents would obligate us to show our papers for every aspect of social life. WSJ, 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, 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, 28 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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

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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Learn More About obligate

Time Traveler for obligate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obligate was in 1533

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Statistics for obligate

Last Updated

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obligate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligate. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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