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

The complaint reflects how PG&E’s bankruptcy is rippling across California energy markets and will likely affect the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, potentially undercutting legislative mandates that encourage renewable production. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "PG&E Bankruptcy Hits Green Energy Suppliers," 29 Jan. 2019 Trumbull took that mandate and adapted a screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin specifically to meet it. Eleanor Hildebrandt, Popular Mechanics, "The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie "Brainstorm," Natalie Wood’s Last Film," 21 Dec. 2018 But some students will face a tougher hurdle to meet this new civics mandate than others. Leslie Postal, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New civics law: Florida universities, colleges split on how students can prove knowledge," 22 June 2018 The duo are also now official Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors, and so pretty much have a royal mandate to roam the globe supporting young people. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth Will Pass the Torch to Prince Charles and the Rest of the Royal Family in 2019," 5 Jan. 2019 That to be a respected professional, or found desirable, or recognized for my work, high heels were a mandate. Anna Sweeney, SELF, "Making Peace With My Body Meant Saying Goodbye to High Heels," 9 Aug. 2018 Furious at spiraling corruption and violence, Mexican voters unleashed a political earthquake Sunday by electing a leftist firebrand as president and giving him a broad mandate to overthrow the political establishment and govern for the poor. The Christian Science Monitor, "Mexico elects leftist López Obrador as president," 2 July 2018 The legislation stems from a mandate handed down by Lee last year instructing city departments to find ways to speed up housing development. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "SF supervisors elect Malia Cohen their president as Breed moves to mayor," 26 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And while the question of China often poses a challenge for cruelty-free brands, as the law there mandates that cosmetics must be tested on animals, this was an easy one for CoverGirl—since it isn't sold in China anyway. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "CoverGirl Just Announced It's Now Entirely Cruelty-Free," 5 Nov. 2018 The bill reintroduced in Washington state this winter would mandate employer contributions to a portable benefits system, but it is stuck in committee. Miranda Katz, WIRED, "How an App Could Give Some Gig Workers a Safety Net," 9 July 2018 There are provisions in there mandating that companies think about privacy from the ground up. ... CBS News, "Facebook announces latest plan to protect user data just ahead of sweeping EU privacy law," 24 May 2018 Recess for students mandated Senate Bill 1083 requires Arizona schools provide at least two recess periods per day for students in kindergarten through third grade starting next school year. Dustin Gardiner, azcentral, "11 new Arizona laws that could affect you -- they take effect Aug. 3," 10 May 2018 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

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

9 Feb 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)

formal
: 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)

chiefly US, formal
: 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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