"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[v. ob-li-geyt; adj. ob-li-git, -geyt] /v. ˈɒb lɪˌgeɪt; adj. ˈɒb lɪ gɪt, -ˌgeɪt/
verb (used with object), obligated, obligating.
to bind or oblige morally or legally:
to obligate oneself to purchase a building.
to pledge, commit, or bind (funds, property, etc.) to meet an obligation.
morally or legally bound; obliged; constrained.
necessary; essential.
Biology. restricted to a particular condition of life, as certain organisms that can survive only in the absence of oxygen: obligate anaerobe (opposed to facultative).
Origin of obligate
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English obligat (adj.) < Latin obligātus (past participle of obligāre to bind), equivalent to ob- ob- + ligātus; see ligate
Related forms
[ob-li-guh-buh l] /ˈɒb lɪ gə bəl/ (Show IPA),
obligator, noun
nonobligated, adjective
preobligate, verb (used with object), preobligated, preobligating.
quasi-obligated, adjective
reobligate, verb (used with object), reobligated, reobligating.
unobligated, adjective
Can be confused
obligate, oblige. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for obligate
  • Funding programs often require project sponsors to obligate funds in a timely manner or lose the funds.
  • The filing does not obligate them to actually make the sales.
  • Learning these divergent views does not obligate the student to accept any of them as the last word.
  • It surely did not obligate an armed response to local insurgency, even a communist one.
  • These bacteria are obligate autotrophs, so they don't grow on any of the media used to isolate pathogens.
  • An obligate or true carnivore is an animal that must eat meat in order to thrive.
  • Like all cats, it is an obligate carnivore, feeding only on meat.
British Dictionary definitions for obligate


to compel, constrain, or oblige morally or legally
(in the US) to bind (property, funds, etc) as security
compelled, bound, or restricted
(biology) able to exist under only one set of environmental conditions: an obligate parasite cannot live independently of its host Compare facultative (sense 4)
Derived Forms
obligable, adjective
obligative, adjective
obligator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin obligāre to oblige
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for obligate

1540s, "to bind, connect;" 1660s, "to put under moral obligation," back-formation from obligation, or else from Latin obligatus, past participle of obligare (see oblige). Oblige, with which it has been confused since late 17c., means "to do one a favor." Related: Obligated; obligating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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obligate in Medicine

obligate ob·li·gate (ŏb'lĭ-gĭt, -gāt')
Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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obligate in Science
  (ŏb'lĭ-gĭt, -gāt')   
Capable of existing only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role. An obligate aerobe, such as certain bacteria, can live only in the presence of oxygen. An obligate parasite cannot survive independently of its host. Compare facultative.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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