[ uh-blig-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ob-li-guh- ]
See synonyms for: obligatoryobligatoriness on Thesaurus.com

  1. required as a matter of obligation; mandatory: A reply is desirable but not obligatory.

  2. incumbent or compulsory (usually followed by on or upon): duties obligatory on all.

  1. imposing moral or legal obligation; binding: an obligatory promise.

  2. creating or recording an obligation, as a document.

Origin of obligatory

1425–75; late Middle English <Late Latin obligātōrius binding, equivalent to Latin obligā(re) to bind (see obligate) + -tōrius-tory1

Other words for obligatory

Opposites for obligatory

Other words from obligatory

  • ob·lig·a·to·ri·ly [uh-blig-uh-tawr-uh-lee, ‐tohr‐, ob-li-guh‐, uh-blig-uh-tawr-uh-lee, ‐tohr‐, ob-li-guh‐], /əˈblɪg əˌtɔr ə li, ‐ˌtoʊr‐, ˈɒb lɪ gə‐, əˌblɪg əˈtɔr ə li, ‐ˈtoʊr‐, ˌɒb lɪ gə‐/, adverb
  • ob·lig·a·to·ri·ness, noun
  • non·ob·lig·a·to·ri·ly, adverb
  • non·ob·lig·a·to·ry, adjective
  • un·o·blig·a·to·ry, adjective

Words Nearby obligatory

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use obligatory in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for obligatory


/ (ɒˈblɪɡətərɪ, -trɪ) /

  1. required to be done, obtained, possessed, etc

  2. of the nature of or constituting an obligation

Derived forms of obligatory

  • obligatorily, adverb

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