: to administer or assign (something, such as a territory) under a mandate
: 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.
NounSports 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 2007All 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, 2007Not 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. VerbThe carbon prices on the European exchanges are higher precisely because the allowances for carbon emissions are mandated by government.—Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, 2006But 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 2006For 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
The forthcoming mandate would require employers to treat au pairs more like traditional employees, though the program was designed to combine cultural exchange and child care.—Kristina Rasmussen, WSJ, 23 Nov. 2023 His account shows that the structure of the paper’s early digitization efforts—two staffs, two funding streams, two metabolisms, competition for one world view—caused enough friction to rattle the bolts of the newsroom’s special mandate.—Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2023 But Fridays are rarely included in these RTO mandates.—Orianna Rosa Royle, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 Those types of mandates happen solely at the state and local levels.—Sarah Cottrell, Parents, 17 Nov. 2023 Spending reforms also won’t happen because of some great Republican wave that creates unified government with a massive popular mandate for spending cuts.—Dominic Pino, National Review, 16 Nov. 2023 Existing Fitbit users will have to migrate their Fitbit data over to a Google account to use the device, sure, but that mandate is coming for all Fitbit users sooner or later.—Brandon Widder, The Verge, 14 Nov. 2023 An 8-month-old infant in the United Kingdom has been given more time to live after an appeal suspended a judge's mandate that she be removed from life support.—Timothy H.j. Nerozzi Fox News, Fox News, 10 Nov. 2023 For more than half a century, American farmers have had a clear mandate: Grow more.—Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023
However, Israeli law mandates that families of the victims of attackers held in Israeli jails have a right to appeal a deal involving the prisoners’ release to the Supreme Court within 24 hours.—Patrick Smith, NBC News, 22 Nov. 2023 Four months after Spain introduced its rider’s law, which mandated that delivery couriers should be considered staff, Deliveroo closed its operations in the country entirely.—WIRED, 20 Nov. 2023 The transition from the legacy into the legal market has been a slow and rocky road despite the best intentions of the law, mandating that 50% of all licenses must be issued to social equity applicants.—Stu Zakim, Rolling Stone, 20 Nov. 2023 Nothing mandates that the Pentagon and NASA fund the company or treat it as a suitable bidder in the future, as long as it’s associated with Musk.—Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Some of these proposals mandate that tech companies attempt to verify users’ ages.—Naomi Nix, Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2023 The results show that 88% of companies now mandate that employees work a certain number of days in the office, up from 69% a year ago.—Steve Mollman, Fortune, 12 Nov. 2023 But electronic vaccine records, which medical providers are mandated to use, show that, so far, the older folks have had a far-higher uptake.—Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Nov. 2023 But drugmakers and obesity treatment advocates have been pushing for broader coverage, including asking Congress to pass legislation to mandate that Medicare pay for the drugs.—CBS News, 13 Nov. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mandate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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