August 14, 2012
- obligate (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to make (someone) do something by law or because it is right
- How do you use it?
- If you sign a contract, you are obligated to do what the contract says that you will do.
- Are you a word wiz?
"Obligate" traces back to the Latin word "ligare," meaning "to bind" or "to tie." Which of the following words to you think also comes from "ligare"?"Obligate" and "league" are in the same league—they both come from "ligare." "Ligare" binds a number of words together. Another common "ligare" word is "rely," as in, "It's great to have a friend you can rely on." A less common "ligare" word is "furl," which means "to wrap or roll (as a sail or a flag) close to or around something." (Its opposite, "unfurl," is more common than "furl.") You may hear another "ligare" word in contexts relating to injuries: the word "ligament" refers to a tough band of tissue that holds bones together or keeps an organ in place in the body.