man·​da·​mus | \ man-ˈdā-məs How to pronounce mandamus (audio) \

Definition of mandamus

: a writ issued by a superior court commanding the performance of a specified official act or duty

Examples of mandamus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The court further reasoned that, in any event, a judge does not subject himself to recusal by participating in a mandamus proceeding — particularly when the Circuit itself invited his participation. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "D.C. Circuit Rules against Michael Flynn, Sending Case Back to Judge Sullivan," 1 Sep. 2020 But, to repeat, winning the case is different from winning the mandamus. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "He’ll Eventually Prevail, but Flynn Stands to Lose the Mandamus Fight," 15 Aug. 2020 On average, mandamus petitions are decided by the Court of Criminal Appeals within about three-six months. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Two years after Alabama woman says she killed her rapist in self-defense, new evidence emerges," 7 Apr. 2020 That’s a stark contrast to the past 16 years, during which the government sought only eight stays total, four reviews before judgment, and no mandamus writs. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Justice Sotomayor calls out the US Supreme Court in a sharp dissent," 22 Feb. 2020 On average, mandamus petitions are decided by the Court of Criminal Appeals within about three-six months, a court official said. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Alabama woman who said she killed her rapist in self-defense awaits fight of her life," 31 Jan. 2020 The lawsuit is technically called an action in mandamus. cleveland, "Private school voucher supporters sue state over EdChoice delay," 3 Feb. 2020 On October 12, 2017, the circuit court entered an order denying the Commission's second motion to dismiss, after which the Commission timely filed its mandamus petition in this court. Kent Faulk,, "Appeals court tosses Birmingham BOE lawsuit that seeks to block charter school," 5 Jan. 2018 The suit, filed as a complaint for writ of mandamus in Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals, seeks to require City Officials to enforce existing laws to protect children and families., "Legal Aid Society sues Cleveland on behalf of toddler, asks court to make city follow lead poisoning laws," 18 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandamus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of mandamus

1760, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mandamus

Latin, we enjoin, from mandare

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The first known use of mandamus was in 1760

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Cite this Entry

“Mandamus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mandamus


man·​da·​mus | \ man-ˈdā-məs How to pronounce mandamus (audio) \

Legal Definition of mandamus

: an extraordinary writ issued by a court of competent jurisdiction to an inferior tribunal, a public official, an administrative agency, a corporation, or any person compelling the performance of an act usually only when there is a duty under the law to perform the act, the plaintiff has a clear right to such performance, and there is no other adequate remedy available also : an action in the nature of a writ of mandamus in jurisdictions where the writ is abolished — compare cease-and-desist order at order, injunction, stay

Note: Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy and is issued usually only to command the performance of a ministerial act. It cannot be used to substitute the court's judgment for the defendant's in the performance of a discretionary act.

Other Words from mandamus

mandamus verb

History and Etymology for mandamus

Latin, we enjoin, from mandare to enjoin

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