obligatory




Obligatory describes something you do because you have to, not because you want to. When you buy a car, you have to fill out the obligatory forms. In many homes, saying please and thank you is obligatory.

Obligatory derives from the verb oblige, as in “after she was so nice, I felt obliged to take her a present.” Some people feel burdened by lives of common obligation, giving presents, returning phone calls, eating birthday cake, attending religious services––none of which they feel any real desire to do.

Definitions of obligatory
  1. adjective

    required by obligation or compulsion or convention

    “he made all the
    obligatory apologies”
    Synonyms:

    necessary

    absolutely essential
  2. adjective

    morally or legally constraining or binding

    “attendance is
    obligatory
    “an
    obligatory contribution”
    Synonyms:

    bounden

    morally obligatory
    compulsory, mandatory, required

    required by rule
    de rigueur

    required by etiquette or usage or fashion
    imposed

    set forth authoritatively as obligatory
    incumbent on

    morally binding or necessary
    indispensable

    unavoidable
    prerequisite

    required as a prior condition or course of study
    necessary

    absolutely essential
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    Antonyms:

    optional

    possible but not necessary; left to personal choice
    elective

    not compulsory
    ex gratia

    as a favor; not compelled by legal right
    facultative

    not compulsory
    nonmandatory, nonobligatory

    not required by rule or law
    show more antonyms…

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