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 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

Because the federal government can’t mandate security procedures, DHS’s mission is largely to persuade state officials of the importance of securing their own systems. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 The court ultimately ruled in favor of desegregation and mandated the integration of the elementary schools in those four districts. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "How Méndez vs. Westminster Helped End Segregated Schools for Latinx Children in 1940s California," 12 Oct. 2018 Whereas breaking up Facebook into smaller companies would mean splitting one walled garden into several more, mandating interoperability just tears down the walls. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "If You Want To Fix Facebook, Tear Down Its Walls," 31 July 2018 The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was repealed in Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but other core provisions such as insurance exchanges and mandating coverage for pre-existing conditions remain. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 July 2018 For Illinois, the agreement involved forgiving $3 million in student loans for about 2,700 Illinois students, and mandating changes in how school officials disclose enrollment costs and expectations about job placement after graduation. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Faced with falling enrollment and federal scrutiny, for-profit art schools in Chicago, Schaumburg to close," 6 July 2018 The app was a nice twist on something like Yik Yak — focusing on younger audiences and anonymity, but essentially mandating positivity. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Facebook is shutting down a teen app it bought eight months ago," 3 July 2018 Fifteen others, including Utah, Texas and Pennsylvania, mandate the tests for specific groups such as older fighters. The Courier-Journal, "Danger in the cage: Lax regulation in amateur MMA puts lives at risk," 21 June 2018 The separations at the border began earlier this year, when Sessions mandated that all people caught crossing into the U.S. illegally be referred for criminal prosecution. Alana Abramson, Time, "President Trump Signs Executive Order to Keep Immigrant Families Together," 20 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

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Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

16 Nov 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

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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