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

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Examples of mandamus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 A writ of mandamus requires a lower-court judge or government official to fulfill his or her official duties. Katherine Shaver, Washington Post, "Md. attorney general seeks court order to force judge to decide Purple Line case," 12 May 2017 In addition, Giambrone argued that a writ of mandamus petition, the legal procedure Reynaud requests in his suit, can't be used by one public official to compel another public official to do something. Littice Bacon-blood,, "Kenner councilman's suit against Mayor Ben Zahn dismissed," 29 June 2017 Mohammed’s lawyers also asked the circuit court to order the war court review panel to delay deciding the statute of limitations question while the circuit court considered a request for a writ of mandamus. Carol Rosenberg, miamiherald, "Pentagon appeals panel overrules Guantánamo judge, reinstates two 9/11 trial charges," 29 June 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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Time Traveler for mandamus

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The first known use of mandamus was in 1760

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Cite this Entry

“Mandamus.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on mandamus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mandamus Encyclopedia article about mandamus

Comments on mandamus

What made you want to look up mandamus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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