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

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 Moeller and his colleagues noticed that obligate anaerobes, bacteria that can only survive in an oxygen-free environment, tended to pass from mouse mothers to their offspring but not between other mice through the environment. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mammals inherit most of their gut bacteria, new study suggests," 26 Oct. 2018 By obligating handset makers to load the free apps along with the Android operating system, regulators said Google had boxed out competitors. Adam Satariano, The Seattle Times, "Google to charge phone makers for Android apps in Europe," 16 Oct. 2018 The state is already obligated through laws to achieve a third of its energy through renewables by 2020, and half of it through 2030. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "California Aims For a Carbon-Free Grid by 2045," 30 Aug. 2018 Retailers generally are contractually obligated to remain open during mall business hours. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "Some Circle Centre stores close amid frigid weather," 4 Jan. 2018 The government doesn’t mandate how women dress in America, and hasn’t yet obligated women to seek male consent when purchasing contraceptives, as happened in a recent Handmaid’s Tale flashback. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Gilead in America," 20 June 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

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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

Comments on obligate

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