- (transitive, North America, Scotland) To bind, compel, constrain, or oblige by a social, legal, or moral tie.
- (transitive, North America, Scotland) To cause to be grateful or indebted; to oblige.
- (transitive, North America, Scotland) To commit (money, for example) in order to fulfill an obligation.
In non-legal usage, almost exclusively used in the passive, in form “obligated to X” where ‘X’ is a verb infinitive or noun phrase, as in “obligated to pay”. Further, it is now only in standard use in American English and some dialects such as Scottish, having disappeared from standard British English by the 20th century, being replaced by obliged (it was previously used in the 17th through 19th centuries).
- (force, compel): See also: force: Synonyms
- ^ Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, p. 675
- ^ The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1996)
- (biology) Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role.
- an obligate parasite; an obligate anaerobe.
- Absolutely indispensable; essential.