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obligate

[verb ob-li-geyt; adjective ob-li-git, -geyt]
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verb (used with object), ob·li·gat·ed, ob·li·gat·ing.
  1. to bind or oblige morally or legally: to obligate oneself to purchase a building.
  2. to pledge, commit, or bind (funds, property, etc.) to meet an obligation.
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adjective
  1. morally or legally bound; obliged; constrained.
  2. necessary; essential.
  3. 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).
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Origin of obligate

1400–50; late Middle English obligat (adj.) < Latin obligātus (past participle of obligāre to bind), equivalent to ob- ob- + ligātus; see ligate
Related formsob·li·ga·ble [ob-li-guh-buh l] /ˈɒb lɪ gə bəl/, adjectiveob·li·ga·tor, nounnon·ob·li·gat·ed, adjectivepre·ob·li·gate, verb (used with object), pre·ob·li·gat·ed, pre·ob·li·gat·ing.qua·si-ob·li·gat·ed, adjectivere·ob·li·gate, verb (used with object), re·ob·li·gat·ed, re·ob·li·gat·ing.un·ob·li·gat·ed, adjective
Can be confusedobligate oblige
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for obligate

oblige, constrain, restrict, bind, force, restrain, astrict

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British Dictionary definitions for obligate

obligate

verb
  1. to compel, constrain, or oblige morally or legally
  2. (in the US) to bind (property, funds, etc) as security
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adjective
  1. compelled, bound, or restricted
  2. biology able to exist under only one set of environmental conditionsan obligate parasite cannot live independently of its host Compare facultative (def. 4)
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Derived Formsobligable, adjectiveobligative, adjectiveobligator, noun

Word Origin for obligate

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

Word Origin and History for obligate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

obligate in Medicine

obligate

(ŏblĭ-gĭt, -gāt′)
adj.
  1. Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

obligate in Science

obligate

[ŏblĭ-gĭt, -gāt′]
  1. 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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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.