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[verb ob-li-geyt; adjective ob-li-git, -geyt] /verb ˈɒb lɪˌgeɪt; adjective ˈɒb lɪ gɪt, -ˌgeɪt/

verb (used with object), obligated, obligating.
to bind or morally or legally:
to obligate oneself to purchase a building.
to pledge, commit, or bind (funds, property, etc.) to meet an .
morally or legally bound; ; 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 ).
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)

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.

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


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  • Obligation

    [ob-li-gey-shuh n] /ˌɒb lɪˈgeɪ ʃən/ noun 1. something by which a person is bound or obliged to do certain things, and which arises out of a sense of duty or results from custom, law, etc. 2. something that is done or is to be done for such reasons: to fulfill one’s obligations. 3. a binding […]

  • Obligational

    [ob-li-gey-shuh-nl] /ˌɒb lɪˈgeɪ ʃə nl/ adjective 1. .

  • Obligational-authority

    noun 1. the necessary authority that precedes budget spending by a government agency or department, granted by Congress through appropriations.

  • Obligative

    [ob-li-gey-tiv] /ˈɒb lɪˌgeɪ tɪv/ adjective 1. implying or involving obligation: an obligative commitment.

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