mandate

noun
man·date | \ ˈman-ˌdāt \

Definition of mandate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

3a : 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

mandate

verb
man·date | \ ˈman-ˌdāt \
mandated; mandating

Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to administer or assign (something, such as a territory) under a mandate

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

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When Should You Use mandate?

A mandate from a leader is a command you can't refuse. But that kind of personal command is rarely the meaning of mandate today; much more common are connected with institutions. Thus, the Clean Air Act was a mandate from Congress to clean up air pollution—and since mandate is also a verb, we could say instead that the Clear Air Act mandated new restrictions on air pollution. Elections are often interpreted as mandates from the public for certain kinds of action. But since a politician is not just a symbol of certain policies but also an individual who might happen to have an awfully nice smile, it can be risky to interpret most elections as mandating anything at all.

Examples of mandate in a Sentence

Noun

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 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 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 Royal mandates must be obeyed. They carried out the governor's mandate to build more roads. He won the election so convincingly that he believed he had been given a mandate for change.

Verb

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 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 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 The law mandates that every car have seat belts. He won the election so convincingly that he believed the people had mandated him to carry out his policies.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

May didn’t have the popular mandate or the parliamentary votes to get what the right of her party demanded. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 The Fed’s mandate from Congress is to maximize sustainable employment and ensure prices are stable, which the central bank defines as meeting a 2% inflation target. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Federal Reserve Report Defends Use of New Tools to Set Interest Rates," 13 July 2018 What reformers do instead is try to create regulatory agencies that are given broad mandates to police areas of conduct. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the new judicial activism," 12 July 2018 For those characters, Eyrich’s sartorial mandate meant sticking to boxy suits and wide ties along with fur stoles and chandelier diamond earrings. Melissa Magsaysay, latimes.com, "Strike a 'Pose.' Here's a look at the fashion from Ryan Murphy's FX drama," 12 July 2018 The Obama administration relied heavily on that 34-year-old principle, which gives federal agencies latitude to regulate when Congress has been ambiguous, using it to justify mandates on energy, the environment and the workplace. chicagotribune.com, "Trump nominee Kavanaugh could usher in even more business-friendly era on Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 Former Beatle Paul McCartney had written to the Parliament ahead of Thursday's vote, urging them to support the mandate for the proposal. Francis Whittaker /, NBC News, "Joy for meme fans, despair for musicians as European lawmakers reject copyright changes," 5 July 2018 The new rules will offer safety objectives while not dictating any vehicle design or operational mandates for space firms. Justin Bachman, OrlandoSentinel.com, "SpaceX, other private launches mess with airline schedules," 2 July 2018 Some schools require application essays, mandate that parents volunteer or make a monetary donation in lieu of volunteering, or do not provide enrollment documents in Spanish. Jake Goodrick, azcentral, "For this Phoenix immigrant a choice of school offers path to college," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The decision reversed 1977’s Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and voided laws in 22 states mandating that employees pay such fees. Alana Abramson, Time, "The Supreme Court's Union Fees Decision Could Be a Huge Blow for Democrats," 29 June 2018 After emancipation, Jim Crow-era laws mandated segregation, though blacks could enter white spaces with permission. SFChronicle.com, "We should think deeply about the Alison Ettel viral video — and why it matters," 28 June 2018 Baltimore is struggling to tackle its high rates of violent crime, her office still has a strained relationship with city police, and a federal consent decree mandating sweeping police reforms is gradually ramping up. Bloomberg.com, "Top Baltimore Prosecutor Mosby Wins Democratic Primary," 27 June 2018 Some Republican lawmakers are preparing a more narrow immigration bill that would address one of the flaws in Trump's executive order mandating that children and parents not be separated during their detention. Philip Rucker, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump advocates depriving undocumented immigrants of due-process rights," 24 June 2018 Some studios have deals in place mandating minimum ticket prices in certain locations higher than $8.99, which complicate their dealings with the new service, executives said. Ben Fritz, WSJ, "Hollywood Studios Fear AMC’s New MoviePass Competitor Will Erode Their Revenue," 22 June 2018 There’s no law in the books mandating children and parents be separated at the border, no matter how many times President Trump repeated that lie. refinery29.com, "Everything You Need To Know About Trump's Family Separation Policy," 20 June 2018 Oregon passed a bill mandating that the only providers that can serve state governments are those that observe net neutrality. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Net neutrality repeal kicks in; here's what that means," 11 June 2018 The case involved deed restrictions imposed by San Antonio’s Timberwood Park Owners Association, mandating that its homes could only be used as single-family residences. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "City searches for the regulatory sweet spot with short-term rentals," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandate.' 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 mandate

Noun

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mandate

Noun

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

Verb

see mandate entry 1

Noun

Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregularly from manus hand + -dere to put

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Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandate

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

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More Definitions for mandate

mandate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mandate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an official order to do something

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

mandate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to officially demand or require (something)

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

mandate

noun
man·date | \ ˈman-ˌdāt \

Kids Definition of mandate

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

2 : a command or instruction from an authority

3 : the instruction given by voters to their elected representatives

mandate

noun
man·date | \ ˈman-ˌdāt \

Legal Definition of mandate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a formal communication from a reviewing court notifying the court below of its judgment and directing the lower court to act accordingly

b : mandamus

2 in the civil law of Louisiana : an act by which a person gives another person the power to transact for him or her one or several affairs

3a : an authoritative command : a clear authorization or direction the mandate of the full faith and credit clauseNational Law Journal

b : the authorization to act given by a constituency to its elected representative

mandate

transitive verb
mandated; mandating

Legal Definition of mandate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make mandatory or required the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates a criminal defendant's right to confrontationNational Law Journal

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Comments on mandate

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