One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Imposing obligation; obligatory. Now rare.
2Grammar. Of a verb, especially a modal auxiliary: implying obligation.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Bell (fl. 1573–1610). From post-classical Latin obligativus binding, obligatory from classical Latin obligāt-, past participial stem of obligāre + -īvus.
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