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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The governor has been sparring in court with the oversight board, challenging its mandates to cut pension benefits and reform welfare laws. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Trump Attacks ‘Inept’ Puerto Rico Leaders Over Disaster Aid," 23 Oct. 2018 My mandate is to break news and write features of impact and guest-host the occasional podcast. Eric Johnson, Recode, "The media is responsible for President Trump and it still hasn’t learned from 2016, says Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi," 18 Oct. 2018 And whoever takes that job will almost certainly assume control of the Mueller investigation, giving a new AG the power to let Mueller continue unimpeded — or curtail his mandate. Jen Kirby, Vox, "What happens to Mueller’s investigation if Jeff Sessions is fired or quits?," 12 Oct. 2018 When the sperm reached room temperature, Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Commander Drew Feustel introduced them into a fluid designed to trigger their reproductive mandate. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Why There Are Sperm Swimming Around at the Space Station," 16 July 2018 The addition of Arkansas, which passed such a law in 2017, brings to six the number of states with public school mandates, including Alabama, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee. Yonat Shimron, Houston Chronicle, "A campaign to blitz the country with ‘In God We Trust’ laws takes root," 7 July 2018 Her mandate: reduce the footprint of the federal government’s 360,000 buildings and 650,000 vehicles. Megan Michelson, Outside Online, "Kate Brandt Is Turning Google into a Green Powerhouse," 5 July 2018 Only California mandates consent education in K-12 public schools. Alice Yin, Detroit Free Press, "Should Michigan sex education require 'yes means yes' curriculum?," 3 June 2018 Opposes renewable energy mandates and the cap-and-trade system of selling pollution rights to fund anti-greenhouse-gas projects. San Francisco Chronicle, "Where candidates for governor stand on California’s biggest issues," 17 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The company has been the leading adversary of Mr. Musk in the fight against Tesla’s efforts to sell directly to customers without the use of the independent dealers that are legally mandated for auto makers. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Tesla’s Musk Needs to Find His Mary Barra," 13 July 2018 That happened right as tougher screenings were mandated for recruits. David Begnaud, CBS News, "Immigrant recruit abruptly discharged from Army without explanation," 10 July 2018 Davis has led inclusion trainings with several NFL clubs, and would like to see them be mandated for all 32 teams, encouraging open conversations between current players and gay men who have been in NFL locker rooms. Jenny Vrentas, SI.com, "For Many NFL Players, Summer Doesn't Bring Much of a Break," 9 July 2018 That means their flood risk is significantly higher than that of new buildings, and flood insurance, which is mandated for homeowners with a mortgage in high-risk zones, is poised to jump. New York Times, "New Buildings Rise in Flood Zones," 6 July 2018 Last year’s sweeping Republican tax bill killed the federal tax penalty for individuals who refuse to get health insurance as mandated under ObamaCare. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Liberal states impose new individual mandate ahead of ObamaCare rollback," 6 July 2018 In all, the National Transportation Safety Board says, 23 people have been killed and more than 300 injured in preventable incidents between the time PTC was first mandated, in 2008, and when it was supposed to be finally installed, in 2015. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "After Philly crash, railroads got more time to install a key safety system. Three years later, some still lag behind," 3 July 2018 When Bush was president, the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had a legal obligation to consider whether regulation of carbon dioxide emissions was mandated under the Clean Air Act. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Donald Trump, the resistance, and the limits of normcore politics," 3 July 2018 While the system is mandated, the federal government didn’t subsidize its implementation. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "South Shore fare hike takes effect Sunday," 28 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandate

Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandate

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

History and Etymology for mandate

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mandate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!