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Definition of "obligate" []

  • To bind, compel, or constrain by a social, legal, or moral tie. See Synonyms at force. (verb-transitive)
  • To cause to be grateful or indebted; oblige. (verb-transitive)
  • To commit (money, for example) in order to fulfill an obligation. (verb-transitive)
  • Biology Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role: an obligate parasite; an obligate anaerobe. (adjective)
  • Absolutely indispensable; essential. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "obligate" in a sentence
  • "Because these probes remain obligate tetramers, they are not the best choice for labeling proteins."
  • "Recovery Act deadline to "obligate" - or commit to specific projects - 100 percent of their highway Recovery funds."
  • "Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that every state and the District of Columbia met the March 2 Recovery Act deadline to "obligate" - or commit to specific projects - 100 percent of their highway Recovery funds."