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noun man·date \ˈman-ˌdāt\

Simple Definition of mandate

  • : an official order to do something

  • : the power to act that voters give to their elected leaders

Full Definition of mandate

  1. 1 :  an authoritative command; especially :  a formal order from a superior court or official to an inferior one

  2. 2 :  an authorization to act given to a representative <accepted the mandate of the people>

  3. 3 a :  an order or commission granted by the League of Nations to a member nation for the establishment of a responsible government over a former German colony or other conquered territory b :  a mandated territory

Examples of mandate

  1. Sports fans have considerable forbearance. Year after year they endure escalating ticket prices, the abomination known as seat licensing and the implied mandate that taxpayers should foot the bill for the new stadium or arena that will absolutely revive downtown. —Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated, 30 July 2007

  2. All provisions requiring congressional approval, such as FDA regulation, were dropped, as were mandates for stronger package warnings, tighter enforcement on sales to youth, stronger public smoking bans, and … provisions to reduce youth smoking. —Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007

  3. Not the least of the Governors' problems are the new mandates being put on them by Washington—by a President who was once one of their own. —Karen Tumulty, Time, 19 May 2003

  4. Royal mandates must be obeyed.

  5. They carried out the governor's mandate to build more roads.

  6. He won the election so convincingly that he believed he had been given a mandate for change.

Origin of mandate

Middle French & Latin; Middle French mandat, from Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregular from manus hand + -dere to put — more at manual, do

First Known Use: 1501

Rhymes with mandate

abate, ablate, adnate, aerate, age-mate, agnate, airdate, airfreight, alate, arête, await, backdate, baldpate, bandmate, baseplate, bedmate, bedplate, berate, birthrate, bistate, bite plate, blank slate, blind date, blue plate, bookplate, breastplate, casemate, castrate, caudate, cell plate, cerate, cheapskate, checkmate, chelate, chordate, citrate, classmate, clavate, cognate, collate, comate, conflate, connate, Cook Strait, cordate, create, cremate, crenate, curate, cut-rate, deadweight, death rate, debate, deflate, delate, dentate, derate, dictate, dilate, disrate, donate, doorplate, downstate, drawplate, elate, end plate, equate, estate, faceplate, falcate, fellate, filtrate, first-rate, fishplate, fixate, flatmate, floodgate, fluxgate, flyweight, folate, formate, frustrate, gelate, gestate, ground state, gyrate, hamate, hastate, headgate, Hell Gate, helpmate, home plate, hot plate, housemate, hydrate, ice-skate, inflate, ingrate, inmate, innate, instate, irate, jailbait, Kuwait, lactate, lapse rate, legate, liftgate, ligate, lightweight, liquate, lobate, locate, lunate, lustrate, lych-gate, lyrate, magnate, makebate, makeweight, messmate, migrate, misstate, mutate, nameplate, narrate, negate, Newgate, nitrate, notate, nutate, oblate, of late, orate, ornate, ovate, palmate, palpate, peltate, phonate, pinnate, placate, playdate, playmate, plicate, portrait, postdate, predate, prime rate, probate, prolate, pronate, prorate, prostate, prostrate, punctate, pupate, quadrate, rain date, ramate, rebate, red-bait, relate, restate, roommate, rostrate, rotate, saccate, schoolmate, seatmate, sedate, sensate, septate, serrate, shipmate, short weight, slave state, soleplate, soul mate, spectate, spicate, squamate, stagnate, stalemate, stellate, striate, sublate, substrate, sulcate, summate, tailgate, teammate, Tebet, tenth-rate, ternate, terneplate, testate, third-rate, tinplate, to date, toeplate, tollgate, tractate, translate, tristate, truncate, unweight, update, uprate, upstate, V-8, vacate, vallate, valvate, vibrate, virgate, vulgate, whitebait, workmate



verb man·date \ˈman-ˌdāt\

Simple Definition of mandate

  • : to officially demand or require (something)

  • : to officially give (someone) the power to do something

Full Definition of mandate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to administer or assign (as a territory) under a mandate (see 1mandate)

  3. 2 :  to officially require (something) :  make (something) mandatory :  order <a law mandating recycling>; also :  to direct or require (someone) to do something <a commission mandated to investigate corruption>

Examples of mandate

  1. The carbon prices on the European exchanges are higher precisely because the allowances for carbon emissions are mandated by government. —Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006

  2. But the FDA did nothing. Later, it protested that it doesn't have the authority to mandate additional studies once a drug is marketed, but that is sophistry. The FDA has the authority to pull drugs off the market … —Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books, 8 June 2006

  3. For a few tantalizing weeks this spring, the manufacturers of gun safety locks seemed to have hit the jackpot: the gun-control bill passed by the Senate in the wake of the Littleton shootings mandated that all new handguns be equipped with safety locks. —Calvin Trillin, Time, 5 July 1999

  4. The law mandates that every car have seat belts.

  5. He won the election so convincingly that he believed the people had mandated him to carry out his policies.

Origin of mandate

(see 1mandate)

First Known Use: 1919

MANDATE Defined for Kids


noun man·date \ˈman-ˌdāt\

Definition of mandate

  1. 1 :  an order from a higher court to a lower court

  2. 2 :  a command or instruction from an authority

  3. 3 :  the instruction given by voters to their elected representatives

Word Root of mandate

The Latin word mandāre, meaning “to commit” or “to order,” gives us the root mand. Words from the Latin mandāre have something to do with committing or ordering. When a task is mandatory, someone has ordered that it must be done. To command is to order someone to do something. A mandate is an order from an authority to follow specific instructions.

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February 10, 2016

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