mandate

1 of 2

noun

man·​date ˈman-ˌdāt How to pronounce mandate (audio)
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
3
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

man·​date ˈman-ˌdāt How to pronounce mandate (audio)
mandated; mandating

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

Did you know?

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
For example, Illinois requires 120 hours of CPE in three years, with no specific mandate for ethics credits, showcasing a more flexible approach compared to Florida’s more structured CPE criteria. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 21 Feb. 2024 The update has nothing to do with the new EU mandate on gateway technologies—despite the recent confirmation that iMessage has been excluded from opening up. Zak Doffman, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Shortly after the coalition announcement, the PTI accused the PMLN and PPP of stealing their mandate to govern. Sophia Saifi, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Instead, the justices in this case are asking about the reasonableness of the EPA’s technical, scientific and economic judgments — all of which are well within the agency’s mandate, according to environmental advocates. Ann E. Marimow, Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2024 The conflicting messages might even force Newsom’s administration to issue an official mandate, or at least guidelines, to avoid further confusion — a surely controversial move that the governor’s office has yet to publicly announce. Maya Miller, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 The plan is an effort to align the city with state mandates to reduce greenhouse gases, encourage sustainability and adapt to climate change, though little progress has been made so far. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Feb. 2024 Back then, advocacy groups began questioning why the department seemingly ignored a congressional mandate to protect more of a family's income from being used to determine aid eligibility. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel The Washington Post, arkansasonline.com, 13 Feb. 2024 It was split into six separate units, including cloud, e-commerce, logistics, media and entertainment — each overseen by its own CEO and board directors, and most of them with a mandate to pursue separate listings or fundraisings. Juliana Liu, CNN, 8 Feb. 2024
Verb
Employers would consider mandating pay well above market wages to individuals with little experience a restriction. Stuart Anderson, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Step 3: Complete Educational Requirements The IMA mandates that CMA candidates must possess at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 As a result, the Legislature mandated that refineries shut down periodically to perform necessary maintenance. Maya Miller, Sacramento Bee, 22 Feb. 2024 Assembly Bill 1675 aims to fortify foster youth access to extracurricular activities by mandating regular discussions between social workers and their charges and empowering judges to ensure extracurricular activities provisions as necessary. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 Wall Street Journal Some company executives are pushing five-day RTO mandates on workers despite their unpopularity. Emma Burleigh, Fortune, 21 Feb. 2024 The specific charges are a key detail because serious offenses, such as murder, mandate a hearing to determine if a juvenile will be charged as an adult. Katie Moore, Kansas City Star, 20 Feb. 2024 The legal definition of American single malt is unlikely to mandate the use of new wood because most distilleries don’t want that. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 18 Feb. 2024 The report says little about the safety of vaccines but states that communities that mandated lockdowns had higher rates of fatalities during the pandemic. Romy Ellenbogen, Miami Herald, 10 Feb. 2024 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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

1501, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mandate was in 1501

Dictionary Entries Near mandate

Cite this Entry

“Mandate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandate. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

mandate

1 of 2 noun
man·​date ˈman-ˌdāt How to pronounce mandate (audio)
1
: an order from a higher court to a lower court
2
a
: an authoritative command, instruction, or direction
b
: authorization or approval given to a representative especially by voters
accepted the mandate of the people
3
a
: a commission granted by the League of Nations to a member nation to administer a territory on its behalf
b
: a mandated territory

mandate

2 of 2 verb
mandated; mandating
1
: to administer or assign a territory under a mandate
2
: to make mandatory : order, command

Legal Definition

mandate

1 of 2 noun
man·​date ˈman-ˌdāt How to pronounce mandate (audio)
1
a
: a formal communication from a reviewing court notifying the court below of its judgment and directing the lower court to act accordingly
b
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
3
a
: 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

2 of 2 transitive verb
mandated; mandating
: to make mandatory or required
the Pennsylvania Constitution mandates a criminal defendant's right to confrontationNational Law Journal
Etymology

Noun

Latin mandatum, from neuter of mandatus, past participle of mandare to entrust, enjoin, probably irregularly from manus hand + -dere to put

More from Merriam-Webster on mandate

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