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

In a crucial step in his logic, O’Connor then held that because the individual mandate is so important to the overall law, the whole thing can no longer stand. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "After judge’s ruling against Obamacare, what happens now?," 17 Dec. 2018 Brodeur's office needs all these numbers to do the many jobs in its mandate, including keeping an eye on space weather, tracking launches across the world, and providing infrared intelligence imagery to battlefield commanders. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Declassifying Lots of Info About What's in Orbit," 13 Dec. 2018 The mandate isn’t to become as huge or as profitable as possible, but to genuinely provide something different. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The game store that outshines Steam by staying small and weird," 29 Nov. 2018 Proponents say merging towns and consolidating services would reap benefits for both municipalities, making government more efficient and saving taxpayers money, while critics say a strict mandate is unrealistic and could end up raising costs. Max Cohen, Philly.com, "Is time up for tiny towns in New Jersey? Some say mergers would save money and lower taxes, but skeptics disagree," 3 July 2018 The mandate of the Poor People’s Campaign is broad — reflective of the bounty of challenges that the 41 million Americans under the poverty line face on a daily basis. Matt Stieb, Daily Intelligencer, "The Return of the Poor People’s Campaign," 19 June 2018 The Justice Department thus claims that the individual mandate is unconstitutional as of Jan. 1. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "The Trump Administration Is Using a New Tactic to Dismantle Obamacare. What You Need to Know About It," 8 June 2018 Starr’s original mandate was to investigate real estate deals made by the Clintons in Arkansas in the 1970s in what was known as the Whitewater scandal. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "How Not to Remove a President," 16 Apr. 2018 The Supreme Court upheld this individual mandate in 2012. Mark Sherman, The Seattle Times, "After judge’s ruling against Obamacare, what happens now?," 17 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The city and the Justice Department entered into a federal consent decree mandating police reforms in 2017. David Mcfadden, The Seattle Times, "Nominee to be Baltimore’s next police leader withdraws," 7 Jan. 2019 While most online services don't mandate the use of 2FA, one game maker, Valve Software, has leveraged 2FA to reinforce the idea of account identity in the online shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Fortnite’s paid outfits, dances have made it a target for lucrative account theft," 20 Dec. 2018 Ending partisan gerrymandering by mandating that states establish independent redistricting commissions powered by citizens, rather than state lawmakers. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "House Democrats’ sweeping anti-corruption bill HR 1 is getting a Senate companion.," 18 Dec. 2018 That means that, even without an annual update minimum, this rolling window mandates that devices are regularly patched. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Google mandates two years of security updates for popular phones in new Android contract," 24 Oct. 2018 Fewer than 25 schools now mandate students to submit essay scores as part of their college applications, according to some estimations. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "Brown University becomes latest college to drop SAT, ACT essay for applicants," 12 July 2018 Fewer than 25 schools now mandate students to submit essay scores as part of their college applications, according to some estimations. Debbie Truong, chicagotribune.com, "Brown University becomes latest college to drop SAT, ACT essay for applicants," 12 July 2018 Wheeler’s bill would set a minimum age of 18 to possess fireworks; require they be ignited at least 200 feet from any structure, vehicle or person; and mandate that retailers register with the state fire marshal, the Tribune reported. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: I’m for legalizing fireworks if taxes fund safety education," 11 July 2018 The office will not issue an order in response, but already had mandated that its interns be paid $15 per hour. Gillian Mcgoldrick, Philly.com, "Gov. Wolf raises Pa. minimum wage for state employees to $12 per hour, $15 per hour by 2024," 9 July 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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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

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

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Comments on mandate

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