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 If the state tests fewer specimens, the mandate would end if hospitalizations are below 750 patients. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, "These are the states reopening, rolling back mask mandates amid coronavirus pandemic," 28 Feb. 2021 Tennessee county mayors have broad responsibilities and authority in their counties, but Newman has rejected calls for a mask mandate in Lincoln County. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, "Mayor wouldn’t order masks without Holy Spirit guidance. Now he has COVID.," 21 Dec. 2020 In western Kansas, Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw has resigned after her public support for a mask mandate prompted threatening emails and phone calls and left her concerned for her safety. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Inside our struggling hospitals," 16 Dec. 2020 On Capitol Hill, there is a provision in the INVEST in America Act, a transportation overhaul bill, that calls for a mandatory mask mandate for transportation workers, including longshoremen. New York Times, "‘Very High Risk’: Longshoremen Want Protection From the Virus So They Can Stay on the Job," 12 Dec. 2020 During the news conference Thursday, Senate Democrats again called for a statewide mask mandate and urged DeSantis to give communities more flexibility to craft a local response to the pandemic. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "DeSantis to host holiday party at governor’s mansion, and Democrats accuse him of ignoring COVID-19 warnings," 10 Dec. 2020 Other experts also recently called for a national mask mandate. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Biden Will Ask the Public to Wear Masks for 100 Days to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19," 4 Dec. 2020 But Ducey did not announce any new restrictions or requirements on Arizonans to stop the spread of COVID-19, despite increasing calls in recent days for a statewide mask mandate and other measures. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona reports more than 4,100 new COVID-19 cases, 36 new deaths as trends worsen," 29 Nov. 2020 Nearly all of the county health officers in the state have called for a mask mandate as virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have substantially increased in recent weeks. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Social-distance skating, kid governor, virtual toy drive: News from around our 50 states," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Professional golfers may wear steel spikes on their shoes, but most country clubs mandate soft spikes instead. Angela Watson, chicagotribune.com, "What to wear on the golf course," 28 Feb. 2021 House Bill 86 awould mandate that the Georgia Lottery Corp. give at least six licenses to companies that want to offer sports betting in Georgia. Jeff Amy, ajc, "Bills pile up for Georgia lawmakers as key deadline looms," 28 Feb. 2021 Another would mandate that a congressional declaration of war would be needed. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Sen. Mike Lee rejects as ‘horrible policy’ idea of removing president’s sole authority for nuclear launch," 25 Feb. 2021 And some employers may soon mandate vaccinations as well. Nicole Hassoun, Scientific American, "How to Make 'Immunity Passports' More Ethical," 24 Feb. 2021 The laws mandate that grocery stores cover the pay hike, which expires after 120 days, and only apply to companies with at least 300 employees nationwide. Rachel Sandler, Forbes, "These Are The Cities Giving Grocery Workers ‘Hero Pay’ During The Pandemic," 24 Feb. 2021 The Hawaii cycling class did not mandate mask use among its patrons, while gym users in Chicago rarely used face coverings, according to the report. Ivan Pereira, ABC News, "Gyms with maskless users shown to be at high risk for COVID spread: Study," 24 Feb. 2021 The Cotton-Romney bill would also mandate that within 18 months of passage all businesses use the E-Verify system to ensure all employees are legal workers. John Mccormack, National Review, "The Cotton-Romney Plan to Raise the Minimum Wage Without Killing Jobs," 23 Feb. 2021 Nor did the Public Utility Commission of Texas, which regulates power generation statewide, mandate such preparedness. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Texas’s Power Grid Makes It Unfree," 21 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for mandate

Time Traveler

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

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Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mandate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandate. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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Comments on mandate

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