Definition of obligatory in US English:



  • 1Required by a legal, moral, or other rule; compulsory.

    ‘use of seat belts in cars is now obligatory’
    • ‘The protest was the first public display of dissent by women since the 1979 revolution, when the new regime enforced obligatory veiling.’
    • ‘Mortgage protection policies are only obligatory when buying your own home - they are not required for investment properties.’
    • ‘Self-sufficient women and changing social rules mean marriage is no longer obligatory.’
    • ‘I can't by morals and obligatory familial nature allow you to keep him wondering and locked in his room without conversation or band practice for any more days.’
    • ‘And then of course, as is apparently compulsory these days, there's the obligatory shock twist ending that doesn't stand up to a moment's scrutiny.’
    • ‘During his rule an obligatory school system was introduced.’
    • ‘Good and bad, right and wrong, victims and survivors and the obligatory sex and violence - what other moral and visual ingredients do you need to get both ratings and campaigning kudos?’
    • ‘Until the final clarification of the obligatory requisites, they cannot be traded on the Stock Exchange.’
    • ‘With all the attention lavished on big cases by the media, have such appearances become obligatory and, as a result, changed the rules that lawyers must follow?’
    • ‘First of all, what is the statutory or obligatory requirement for rank on a disciplinary tribunal?’
    • ‘If the government enforces two legislations for two similar obligatory programs, the result would be legal uncertainty, he said.’
    • ‘Being born in the US bestows US citizenship on the offspring and eliminates the obligatory military service requirement.’
    • ‘By virtue of a developing custom, particular conduct may be considered to be permitted or obligatory in legal terms, or abstention from particular conduct may come to be considered a legal duty.’
    • ‘It was just a matter of the requisite number of planning meetings and then obligatory rehearsals.’
    • ‘It has been a demanding day, but demanding is not obligatory.’
    • ‘Legal experts equate obligatory drug testing to suspicionless searches, and doubt any rational court would allow for the testing of entire student bodies.’
    • ‘Regulations need to be introduced and strictly enforced to make it obligatory for workplace testing where there is evidence of a high risk from radon.’
    • ‘While it is a fact that the Official Guide rules extra time obligatory at the end of a second draw, it also allows the League organisers to draw up their own rules before the start of such competitions.’
    • ‘It insists on the introduction of obligatory rules for anti-discriminatory conduct in the job descriptions of schoolteachers.’
    • ‘Although attendance is not obligatory, there is one hard-fast rule and that is that once the youths are dropped off at the centre, they are not permitted to leave until the club comes to a close.’
    compulsory, mandatory, prescribed, required, demanded, statutory, enforced, binding, incumbent
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    1. 1.1 (of a ruling) having binding force.
      ‘a sovereign whose laws are obligatory’
      • ‘Neither governments nor courts have accepted the Universal Declaration as an instrument with obligatory force.’
      • ‘The National Conference is the UDF supreme body - its decisions are obligatory to all UDF members.’
      • ‘The command gains obligatory force because it is judged worthy of obedience.’
      irrevocable, unalterable, unbreakable, indissoluble, permanent
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    2. 1.2humorous So customary or routine as to be expected of everyone or on every occasion.
      ‘after the obligatory preamble on the weather he got down to business’
      • ‘But after the usual obligatory rejection of an initial approach, the markets expected an increase in the offer to match shareholders' higher expectations.’
      • ‘Now we're graduates, people are doing the obligatory year down under, and having the mandatory farewell sessions.’
      • ‘She revels in her emotional, moral and intellectual ineptitude, in the obligatory tiny little dress, prancing around on the nearest available red carpet, loving it.’
      • ‘Then we have the obligatory fashion section, which again, is well laid out and quite fun if you enjoy playing dress up and trying on a different identity every week.’
      • ‘Despite the occasional obligatory trumpet with a mind of its own, Lucas kept the tempos lively.’
      • ‘You half expect Jesus, Mary and the obligatory donkey to walk around a corner, and then the bell to ring for hometime.’
      • ‘After the old fella collecting money, we passed the old guy at the door greeting customers, with the obligatory vest, badges and balloons for the kids.’
      • ‘It only took around an hour to get to the summit of Mt Loch, which was rather disappointing, so after the obligatory snowball fight, we got serious and ventured along another trail that we found.’
      • ‘They took the obligatory 45 minutes to be fashionably late, and boy, did we ever love them for it.’
      • ‘At this point, I decided to change my strategy and made the obligatory pit stop earlier than expected.’
      customary, traditional, usual, accustomed, routine, familiar, regular, habitual
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Late Middle English: from late Latin obligatorius, from Latin obligat- ‘obliged’, from the verb obligare (see oblige).