Definition of obligate in English:


Syllabification: ob·li·gate


Pronunciation: /ˈäbliˌgāt
1Bind or compel (someone), especially legally or morally: the medical establishment is obligated to take action in the best interest of the public
More example sentences
  • The Catholic faith I am part of obligates me to have moral courage.
  • However, Kant claims that the moral law obligates us to consider the final purpose or aim of all moral action.
  • There is no law that can obligate a person to undergo medical treatment in order to save the life of another person.
oblige, compel, commit, bind, require, constrain, force, impel
2 [with object] US Commit (assets) as security: the money must be obligated within thirty days
More example sentences
  • This means that funds have to be obligated against contractual agreements within a limited amount of time.
  • As agents of investors, managers are obligated to maximize the interests of the owners or principals.
  • Sellers are obligated to disclose significant property defects of which they are aware.


Pronunciation: /ˈäbligit
[attributive] Biology Back to top  
Restricted to a particular function or mode of life: an obligate intracellular parasite Often contrasted with facultative.
More example sentences
  • Taken together, our analysis provides strong evidence for a reductive mode of evolution in obligate intracellular parasites with high rates of DNA loss.
  • Microsporidia are a monophyletic assemblage of obligate intracellular parasites that generally infect animals (particularly arthropods and fish).
  • Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites that were thought to be an ancient eukaryotic lineage based on molecular phylogenies using ribosomal RNA and translation elongation factors.



Pronunciation: /-ˌgātər/
More example sentences
  • Today the happiness is an obligator aspiration.
  • This surety bond will indemnify the performance of the obligator.
  • Currently, the obligator (India) has the capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation.


late Middle English (as an adjective in the sense 'bound by law'): from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare (see oblige). The current adjectival use dates from the late 19th century.

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Word of the day punctum
Pronunciation: ˈpʌŋ(k)təm
a small, distinct point