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 team’s FedEx Field deal obligates it to play there through 2027. Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post, "Redskins seek sports betting license in Virginia even as they lobby for one in Maryland," 9 Feb. 2020 The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland says Catholics are not obligated to attend Mass this weekend, March 21-22, and March 28-29. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "School closings, coronavirus delays and cancellations in Ohio for Friday, March 13, 2020," 13 Mar. 2020 Lawmakers also crafted language to ensure districts are reimbursed for charter school tuition costs up to the full amount the state is obligated to by fiscal year 2023. BostonGlobe.com, "pouring $1.5 billion in extra money," 5 Dec. 2019 Cephus’s attorneys from the law firm Nesenoff & Miltenberg highlighted that Wisconsin is a public university and is thus obligated to adhere to Constitutional safeguards in its treatment of students. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "After Re-Admitting Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin Could Face a Tough Legal Battle," 7 Sep. 2019 The negotiations also obligated China to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods and services over the next two years. Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, "China lifts ban on US poultry as part of phase one deal concessions on agriculture," 25 Feb. 2020 Mobile, in essence, will not be obligated toward paying anything for the service for three years. al, "Amtrak popular in polling, but is that enough in Mobile?," 3 Feb. 2020 Although there's no price tag yet, the Pentagon obligated $2.4 billion of DOD counternarcotics funds for 129 miles of wall last year. NBC News, "DHS asks Pentagon to fund hundreds more miles of border wall construction," 17 Jan. 2020 The Department of Water Resources and other state agencies are obligated under a 2010 agreement to restore 8,000 acres of inter-tidal and sub-tidal habitat for fish and wildlife in the delta, the Suisun Marsh and the Yolo Bypass. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "The delta’s sinking islands," 12 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for obligate

Time Traveler

The first known use of obligate was in 1533

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Statistics for obligate

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Obligate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligate. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for obligate

obligate

verb
How to pronounce obligate (audio)

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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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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Comments on obligate

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