mandate

noun
man·​date | \ ˈman-ˌdāt How to pronounce mandate (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mandate (audio) \
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

Under a rule based on California’s mandate, a certain percentage of manufacturers’ vehicles sold in Colorado would have to be electric, likely between 6 percent and 10 percent, starting with the 2023 model year. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Colorado to pursue mandatory electric-vehicle standard after attempt to make it voluntary fails," 5 June 2019 Its home state of California has a mandate that requires carmakers to sell zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, in proportion to their share of the state’s auto market, which is the largest in the country. latimes.com, "Tesla’s secret source of cash unmasked as GM and Fiat Chrysler," 3 June 2019 Its home state of California has a mandate that requires carmakers to sell zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, in proportion to their share of the state’s auto market, which is the largest in the country. Bloomberg News, The Mercury News, "GM, Fiat buying up Tesla’s greenhouse gas credits," 3 June 2019 Unfortunately, [only] 34 states and the District of Columbia mandate HIV education; only 13 states mandate that the information has to be medically accurate. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "What These 4 Young People Want You to Know About HIV," 10 Apr. 2019 Under the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, most health insurance plans have to cover at least one form of every kind of birth control. Korin Miller, SELF, "When Is It OK to Get Your IUD Removed?," 12 Mar. 2019 This, in turn, exacerbates the problems with the Electoral College that Baker outlines, since the distribution of presidential electoral votes among the states equals, by constitutional mandate, the sum of each state’s congressional representation. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Letters," 10 Mar. 2019 Does PiS, which won 38% of the vote in 2015, have a mandate to rip up the post-1989 social contract? The Economist, "Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party is doing lasting damage," 21 Apr. 2018 But last year, as part of the GOP tax overhaul, Trump successfully repealed the individual mandate penalty--which was the linchpin of Obama’s signature health care law. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Trump unravels more of Obama's legacy, with proposed freeze on mileage rules," 3 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Alaska’s attorney general argues the funding is unconstitutional and violates the annual budgeting process mandated by the state constitution and the governor’s right to veto. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy administration sends $20M to school districts, ending monthslong wait," 13 June 2019 Each of the processes must be carried out to standards mandated by the Illinois State Food Service Sanitation Code. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park honors restaurants for cleanliness, citizens for health initiatives," 11 June 2019 The shift mandated by the International Maritime Organization, the global shipping regulator, has roiled the maritime industry. Costas Paris, WSJ, "Singapore Ready to Supply Clean Ship Fuel," 9 Apr. 2019 Protests started this week against the new law, mandated by the right-wing ruling party, that cuts the retirement age to 65 from 70 for Poland's Supreme Court justices. NBC News, "Poland's government forces Supreme Court judges to retire early," 4 July 2018 This is the sixth extension of the housing program and the second mandated by the courts. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "Judge orders FEMA to extend stays for Puerto Rican evacuees," 3 July 2018 That test—called the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, or SHSAT—has been the sole admissions criterion for eight of the nine specialized high schools for a couple of decades (and even earlier for some, as mandated by a 1971 law). The Atlantic, "What the Fight Over New York's Elite Public High Schools Is Really About," 14 June 2018 Reforms mandated by the agreement were wide ranging: stricter policies on when to use force and better coordination with mental health organizations. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Implementation of mental health training plan for officers runs counter to recommendations," 8 June 2018 The Dallas Cowboys have always stood and respected the national anthem, as mandated by owner Jerry Jones. Clarence E. Hill Jr., star-telegram, "NFL's new anthem policy won't impact Dak Prescott and always-standing Cowboys | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 23 May 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

15 Jun 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 How to pronounce mandate (audio) \

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 How to pronounce mandate (audio) \

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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