tr.v. ob·li·gat·ed, ob·li·gat·ing, ob·li·gates
1. To compel or constrain by a social, legal, or moral requirement. See Synonyms at force.
2. To cause to be grateful or indebted; oblige: We will always be obligated to you for your kindness.
3. To commit (money, for example) in order to fulfill an obligation.
adj. (-gĭt, -gāt′)
Able to exist or survive only in a particular environment or by assuming a particular role: an obligate parasite; an obligate anaerobe.
n. (-gĭt, -gāt′)
An obligate organism.
[Latin obligāre, obligāt-; see OBLIGE.]
obli·ga·ble (-gə-bəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.