- When someone waves at you and you feel like you have to wave back because social system says you do in order to be polite, the return wave is an example of an obligatory wave.
- When the law requires you to stop at a red light, this is an example of a time when stopping is obligatory.
The definition of obligatory is necessary, required or expected as a result of law or social custom.
- legally, morally, or socially binding; constituting, or having the nature of, an obligation (sense ); required
- Biol. obligate
Origin of obligatoryLate Latin obligatorius
- Of the nature of an obligation; compulsory: Attendance is obligatory. Mathematics is an obligatory course.
- Required as part of a routine course of action or cultural expectation; predictable: “wearing clothing like basketball shoes, baggy pants, and the obligatory baseball cap” ( Tyler Stovall )
- Biology Obligate.
(comparative more obligatory, superlative most obligatory)