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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The nation’s capital joined several states to pass a local version of the insurance mandate that was eliminated as part of last year’s federal tax overhaul. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Republicans in Congress and D.C. Democrats agree: Overturn voters on hourly wage hike," 11 July 2018 The push for greater community engagement is part of a statewide mandate by the Legislature under AB 617, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last summer. Joshua Emerson Smith, sandiegouniontribune.com, "$10 million in cap-and-trade dollars awarded for environmental justice programs, including to native tribe in San Diego," 11 July 2018 In New York state, about half of the 24 percent increase being sought by insurers is because of the removal of the mandate. Reed Abelson, New York Times, "Obamacare Is Proving Hard to Kill," 3 July 2018 Larry Aumiller, who managed the place for 30 years, and his successors have been meticulous stewards of that mandate. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Op-Ed: Alaska’s Pebble Mine Somehow Just Got Worse," 11 June 2018 But coming out in favor of the mandate means your opponent can accuse you of favoring a tax hike. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Affordable Care Act offers midterm peril for both parties," 9 June 2018 Still others may be concerned about rising premiums due to the tax bill's elimination of Obamacare's individual mandate or the cap on deductions for state and local taxes. Christine Mai-duc, latimes.com, "Tax bill and Obamacare repeal are potent issues in California congressional races, poll shows," 23 May 2018 The loss of the mandate likely will lead to more uninsured people, Christensen said. Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "More Idahoans need taxpayers to cover unpaid medical bills. Could Medicaid expansion help? | Idaho Statesman," 22 May 2018 The repeal of the individual mandate will likely exacerbate that problem, as younger, healthier individuals will forgo insurance, leaving insurance companies with higher risk, higher cost member pools. Steven G. Ullmann, Ph.d., miamiherald, "An integrated response to the uncertainties in Florida’s healthcare industry | Miami Herald," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That settlement set rules for the treatment of immigrant minors in federal custody — including mandating that shelters meet state standards, but there is currently no mechanism to enforce those standards. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Some detention centers for migrant children not subject to traditional inspections," 5 July 2018 Now that the Office of War Information mandated that all motion pictures should on some level support the Allied war effort, several of the major studios suddenly had no qualms about making movies that tipped their hat to our Soviet allies. Noah Isenberg, The New Republic, "Making the Movies Un-American," 3 July 2018 As in previous years, the House rejected Democratic efforts to give the FAA greater authority to regulate cargo shipments of lithium batteries by mandating more-stringent safeguards than international standards. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "House Overwhelmingly Approves Long-Term FAA Reauthorization Bill," 27 Apr. 2018 It may be suggested that a time frame of separation is mandated to heighten the physical encounter. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "Explaining the laws of family purity," 16 Apr. 2018 Daniel Romer, a research and director of the Adolescent Communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania's Anneberg Public Policy Institute, said there is no state mandating random drug tests. John Sharp, AL.com, "Evangelist Scott Dawson, GOP candidate for governor, calls for drug testing in all Alabama schools," 11 Apr. 2018 The 2020 target is mandated by a 2006 law, but since then California has passed an even stricter law requiring emissions to be 40% below 1990 levels by the year 2030. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "California Beat Its 2020 Emissions Target Four Years Early," 12 July 2018 The men were mandated to serve in his security detail. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "4 Things You’ll Learn About the Murderous Nation of Yahweh on People Magazine Investigates: Cults," 22 June 2018 The recent, long term ban was mandated by Iran's judiciary, and wasn't initiated by the government departments that typically oversee technology and censorship policy. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "The Unexpected Fallout of Iran's Telegram Ban," 19 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.

See More

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

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandate

Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandate

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on mandate

What made you want to look up mandate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!