To obligate is to either force someone to do something or be compelled to do something. You’re obligated to get to work on time if you want to keep your job.

Obligating has to do with responsibilities. When you have a job, you're obligated to show up and do your work. You could also say the job obligates you to do these things. Obligate, which is about obligations (duties), can be used another way – to commit as security. Money would be obligated, or put up as security. Obligate is not the same thing as oblige, which is like doing a favor. To obligate is meaner, it means “to force.”

Definitions of obligate
  1. verb
    force somebody to do something
    synonyms: compel, oblige
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    force, thrust
    impose urgently, importunately, or inexorably
    make walk
    coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze
    to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means :"She forced him to take a job in the city"
    compel someone to do something by insistent clamoring
    compel or force into a particular state or activity
    compel through a sense of shame
    apply, enforce, implement
    ensure observance of laws and rules
    enforce, impose
    compel to behave in a certain way
    stick, sting
    saddle with something disagreeable or disadvantageous
    exhibit, march, parade
    walk ostentatiously
    cause to march or go at a marching pace
    turn up the heat, turn up the pressure
    apply great or increased pressure
    to compel or force or urge relentlessly or exert coercive pressure on, or motivate strongly
    overcome or coerce as if by using a heavy club
    steamroll, steamroller
    bring to a specified state by overwhelming force or pressure
    squeeze for
    squeeze someone for money, information, etc.
    dragoon, railroad, sandbag
    compel by coercion, threats, or crude means
    terrorise, terrorize
    coerce by violence or with threats
    bring oneself
    cause to undertake a certain action, usually used in the negative
    execute, run
    carry out a process or program, as on a computer or a machine
    carry out the legalities of
    type of:
    cause, get, have, induce, make, stimulate
    cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner
  2. verb
    commit in order to fulfill an obligation
    obligate money”
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    type of:
    commit, confide, entrust, intrust, trust
    confer a trust upon
  3. verb
    bind by an obligation; cause to be indebted
    synonyms: bind, hold, oblige
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    bind or secure by a pledge
    bind by a contract; especially for a training period
    indent, indenture
    bind by or as if by indentures, as of an apprentice or servant
    tie down
    restrain from independence by an obligation
    type of:
    have or establish a relationship to
  4. adjective
    restricted to a particular condition of life
    “an obligate anaerobe can survive only in the absence of oxygen”
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    able to exist under more than one set of conditions
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