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obligate (one) to

1. To compel, bind, or otherwise force one to do something out of a moral or legal obligation. You cannot obligate your employees to put themselves in harm's way. It's simply not the case that pregnancy obligates a couple to get married any longer.
2. To compel, bind, or otherwise force one remain with or loyal to a particular person, group, company, etc. I just feel like the personal favors my bosses have done for me obligates me to them in some way. The fact of the matter is that your paternity obligates you financially to the baby's mother until the child reaches 18 years of age.
See also: obligate, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

obligate someone to someone or something

to force someone to do something for someone or something. This contract obligates you to the company for five years! I don't wish to obligate myself to anyone.
See also: obligate, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In echinoderms with obligately planktotrophic larvae, the ectoderm/endoderm boundary is located below the third cleavage plane at the equator of the embryo (Fig.
Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (Taejon-si, South Korea) has patented a novel obligately symbiotic thermophile Symbiobacterium toebii SC-1(Accession NO: KCTC 0685BP), and a thermostable L-tyrosine phenol-lyase and L-tryptophan indole-lyase produced by Symbiobacterium toebii SC-1.
Normally, ground-foraging ants collect insects from the leaf litter and ants are not obligately dependent on myrmecochory, but adding the food resource of elaiosomes can increase a nest's production of gynes (virgin queens) (Morales and Heithaus 1998).
BYDV is a phloem-restricted Luteovirus obligately vectored by several species of aphids (Kolb et al., 1991).
but is more obligately restricted to calcareous substrates, has a densely white pruinose upper cortex, and lacks zeorin.
Nitrifying bacteria, which are obligately aerobic, are also an important source of [N.sub.2]O in many soils (e.g., Bremner and Blackmer 1978, Firestone and Davidson 1989).
As a control for this experiment, we employed an obligately parthenogenetic lineage of D.
1994) and a group of ants obligately associated with these host trees.
The lizard genus Cnemidophorus includes a number of all-female, obligately parthenogenetic species (Wright 1993).
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, a small gram-negative bacillus that is an obligately intracellular bacterium.
By that point, he notes, conditions should have turned ideal "for the growth of the obligately anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria, with all the attendant problems of sulfide production and corrosion."
Rhodococcus equi (previously known as Corynebacterium equi) is a gram positive, obligately aerobic, intracellular coccobacillus that establishes itself in macrophages by interfering lysophagosomal fusion and multiplies within macrophages; lead to formation of granulomas and eventually necrosis (Prescott, 1991).
nov., obligately organohalide-respiring anaerobic bacteria relevant to halogen cycling and bioremediation, belong to a novel bacterial class, Dehalococcoidia classis nov., order Dehalococcoidales ord.
Estimation of dispersal distances of the obligately plant-associated ant Crematogasterdecamera.
Other microorganisms associated with kefir are the homofermentative strains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus kefirgranum, the obligately heterofermentative strains Lactobacillus kefir and Lactobacillus parakefir (103).