obligatory

adjective
oblig·​a·​to·​ry | \ ə-ˈbli-gə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce obligatory (audio) , ä- also ˈä-bli-gə- \

Definition of obligatory

1 : binding in law or conscience The ordinance made it obligatory that homeowners clear the snow from the sidewalks.
2 : relating to or enforcing an obligation a writ obligatory
3 : mandatory, required obligatory military service also : so commonplace as to be a convention, fashion, or cliché the obligatory death scene in opera The thriller included the obligatory chase scene.
4 : obligate sense 1 an obligatory biped

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Other Words from obligatory

obligatorily \ ə-​ˌbli-​gə-​ˈtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce obligatory (audio) , ä-​ also  ˌä-​bli-​gə-​ \ adverb

Examples of obligatory in a Sentence

The training is obligatory for all personnel. This action movie includes the obligatory chase scenes.
Recent Examples on the Web The bits about Trump’s lawyers Bruce Castor (Mikey Day) and Michael van der Veen (Pete Davidson) feel obligatory, but the final moments about Mitch McConnell’s future attempts to reach across the aisle brings Republican hypocrisy back into focus. Matthew Love, Vulture, "Saturday Night Live Recap: Regina King Is Horny for Corny," 14 Feb. 2021 Preparations for the 15-day celebration begin weeks in advance, starting with an obligatory spring cleaning which is thought to sweep away bad luck from the past year. Frances Lee, Woman's Day, "Everything to Know About Lunar New Year's Traditions," 12 Feb. 2021 First, the obligatory disclaimer: provided COVID-19 allows the Beavers to play the final eight games. oregonlive, "Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle says there’s plenty at stake with 8 games remaining, Beavers are ‘still hungry’," 11 Feb. 2021 The packing area is sanitized, with masks and gloves obligatory, and its steel and copper surfaces scrubbed. New York Times, "Colombians Ask: Who Would Dare Patent Panela?," 26 Jan. 2021 Only on Monday, as scheduled, did authorities launch an online platform where health workers must log all vaccinations and show that those inoculated got an obligatory consultation with a doctor, adding to the red tape. Fox News, "French vaccine rollout slowed by red tape, focus on elderly," 10 Jan. 2021 Serving notice is the obligatory first step in a two-stage lawsuit process in a French class-action suit. Elaine Ganley, BostonGlobe.com, "Racial profiling by French police challenged in class action," 27 Jan. 2021 Serving notice is the obligatory first step in a two-stage lawsuit process. Elaine Ganley, Star Tribune, "Racial profiling by French police challenged in class action," 27 Jan. 2021 Only on Monday, as scheduled, did authorities launch an online platform where health workers must log all vaccinations and show that those inoculated got an obligatory consultation with a doctor, adding to the red tape. Fox News, "French vaccine rollout slowed by red tape, focus on elderly," 10 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'obligatory.' 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 obligatory

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obligatory

Middle English obligatorie, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French obligatorie, obligatoire, borrowed from Latin obligātōrius, from obligāre "to tie up, restrain by tying, place under a legal or moral constraint" + -tōrius, deverbal adjective suffix, originally forming derivatives from agent nouns ending in -tōr-, -tor — more at oblige

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Time Traveler for obligatory

Time Traveler

The first known use of obligatory was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obligatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obligatory. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for obligatory

obligatory

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of obligatory

formal : required by a law or rule
humorous : always or often included as a familiar and expected part of something

obligatory

adjective
oblig·​a·​to·​ry | \ ə-ˈblig-ə-ˌtōr-ē, ä-, -ˌtȯr- also ˈäb-li-gə- \

Medical Definition of obligatory

Other Words from obligatory

obligatorily \ ə-​ˌblig-​ə-​ˈtōr-​ə-​lē, ä-​, -​ˈtȯr-​ also ˌäb-​li-​gə-​ \ adverb

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