Definition of obligatory in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈblɪɡət(ə)ri/


1Required by a legal, moral, or other rule; compulsory: use of seat belts in cars is now obligatory
More example sentences
  • First of all, what is the statutory or obligatory requirement for rank on a disciplinary tribunal?
  • While it is a fact that the Official Guide rules extra time obligatory at the end of a second draw, it also allows the League organisers to draw up their own rules before the start of such competitions.
  • Being born in the US bestows US citizenship on the offspring and eliminates the obligatory military service requirement.
compulsory, mandatory, prescribed, required, demanded, statutory, enforced, binding, incumbent;
requisite, necessary, imperative, unavoidable, inescapable, essential
1.1(Of a ruling) having binding force: a sovereign whose laws are obligatory
More example sentences
  • The National Conference is the UDF supreme body - its decisions are obligatory to all UDF members.
  • Neither governments nor courts have accepted the Universal Declaration as an instrument with obligatory force.
  • The command gains obligatory force because it is judged worthy of obedience.
1.2often humorous So customary or fashionable as to be expected of everyone or on every occasion: it was a quiet little street with the obligatory pub at the end
More example sentences
  • After the old fella collecting money, we passed the old guy at the door greeting customers, with the obligatory vest, badges and balloons for the kids.
  • But after the usual obligatory rejection of an initial approach, the markets expected an increase in the offer to match shareholders' higher expectations.
  • Then we have the obligatory fashion section, which again, is well laid out and quite fun if you enjoy playing dress up and trying on a different identity every week.
customary, traditional, usual, accustomed, routine, familiar, regular, habitual;
French de rigueur
literary wonted



Pronunciation: /əˈblɪɡət(ə)rɪli/
Example sentences
  • Where once crime novels were obligatorily set in English villages or country houses, now they crop up everywhere, like alternative guidebooks.
  • They speak intimately of the value of art history for the artist; not as a dry subject, obligatorily learnt in darkened lecture theatres with projected slides, but lived art history, seen with fresh eyes, big with wonder, at great museums.
  • Even nouns such as groceries and trousers, which in their referential use obligatorily appear in plural form, lack the plural inflection in compounds: a grocery store, a trouser factory.


Late Middle English: from late Latin obligatorius, from Latin obligat- 'obliged', from the verb obligare (see oblige).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ob¦liga|tory

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