oblig·a·to·ry | \ ə-ˈbli-gə-ˌtȯr-ē , 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, ä- alsoˌä-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 preppy look is obligatory for Hill Rats, the 20- and 30-somethings who work for dirt and the illusion of power. Elinor Burkett, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kellyanne Conway Has Been Quietly Revolutionizing D.C. Since the Late '90s," 3 Feb. 2017 Melancholy is almost obligatory for young male poets; in other respects, Neruda spurned the genteel conventions still prevailing in love poetry of the time. Benjamin Kunkel, The New Republic, "The partisan world of Pablo Neruda," 2 July 2018 There was something similarly obligatory about Malone’s presentation of those cameos. Mikael Wood, latimes.com, "Post Malone was hip-hop's saddest champion at the Hollywood Bowl," 28 June 2018 According to Portuguese outlet Record, via Sport Witness, Sporting have approached the Foxes with a loan deal for Slimani but have been told that only a permanent transfer or loan with an obligatory option to buy will be considered. SI.com, "Leicester Holding Out for Around €20m Amidst Former Club's Interest in Out of Favour Striker," 23 June 2018 Several times over the course of the season, reporters lobbed him softballs, trying to get an obligatory cliché quote about how stupendous his Spurs experience had been after a career of playing with also-rans. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Gay, Spurs were a perfect fit — with lousy timing," 19 June 2018 The lights and blinds were all Lutron, and a small closet concealed the obligatory Crestron rack for the audiovisuals, among scattered boxes of Lanvin sneakers. Gary Shteyngart, The New Yorker, "The Luck of Kokura," 18 June 2018 Companies seem to take an attitude of ownership over people’s data and view securing fully informed consent as more optional than obligatory. BostonGlobe.com, "What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy," 15 June 2018 For decades performing arts groups relied on subscriptions—season tickets that could cost in the thousands and were socially obligatory for the city’s wealthy. Scott Timberg, Los Angeles Magazine, "These Venues and Programmers Have Turned L.A. Into a World-Class Performing Arts Town," 13 June 2018

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

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Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for obligatory

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

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English Language Learners Definition of obligatory

: required by a law or rule

: always or often included as a familiar and expected part of something


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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