Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To bring or place under obligation, moral or legal; to hold by a constraining motive.
  • transitive v. To bind or firmly hold to an act; to compel; to constrain; to bind to any act of duty or courtesy by a formal pledge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bind by legal or moral tie, as by oath, indenture, or treaty; bring under legal or moral obligation; hold to some specific act or duty; pledge.
  • To place under obligation in any way, as on account of continued favors or repeated acts of kindness; make beholden or indebted; constrain by considerations of duty, expediency, courtesy, etc.
  • Constrained or bound; having of necessity a particular character, or restricted to a particular course.
  • n. An obligate parasite. See quotation under obligate, a.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. force somebody to do something
  • v. commit in order to fulfill an obligation
  • adj. restricted to a particular condition of life
  • v. bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted

Etymologies

Latin obligāre, obligāt-; see oblige.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin obligātus, past participle of obligō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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