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 Amid coronavirus fears, school closures and shelter-in-place mandates — including a new one in Los Angeles on Thursday and in New York on Friday — many have added teacher, coach, germ police and round-the-clock caregiver to their résumés. Jeremy Engle, New York Times, "How Is Your Family Dividing Responsibilities During the Quarantine?," 15 May 2020 Artists can receive up to $600 to make up for income lost because of stay-at-home mandates. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Corona Arts Relief Program opens second round of funding for Bexar County artists impacted by COVID-19 measures," 14 May 2020 Beyond the cruel absurdity of the campaign, as has been the case with the social distancing arrests, the NYPD followed its historical trend of violently imposing itself on Black and Latinx neighborhoods to carry out its new enforcement mandate. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Pandemic That Changed Everything Changed Nothing," 13 May 2020 The firm was even set to hit the road in May on a multi-city tour to connect with underrepresented founders, and make potential investments on the spot, but shelter-in-place mandates led to the tour's cancellation. Jazmin Goodwin, CNN, "Here's why this successful VC says now is a great time to start a company," 8 May 2020 The agency, which recently expanded its mandate to include Covid-19 products, has previously worked with Gilead on HIV drugs. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Gilead signals steps to widen global access to remdesivir for Covid-19 patients," 5 May 2020 And the state’s shelter-in-place mandate last month abruptly ended the cold and flu season, several health officials said, so people experienced fewer fevers, coughs or sore throats that might prompt a test. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska is reopening for business far ahead of widespread COVID-19 testing," 24 Apr. 2020 According to that optimistic thinking, shelter-in-place mandates may be lifted safely fairly soon. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "'It's going to be around a long time': What we've learned from the first discovered COVID-19 cases," 23 Apr. 2020 The Bay Area’s stay-at-home orders have been extended to early May, but the mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, has suggested a shelter-in-place mandate could remain in place longer. Los Angeles Times, "California’s coronavirus curve: Fewer deaths but a long stay-at-home period, experts say," 9 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Weeks before Covid-19 hit the East Coast, my insurance company advised that loss of my business, Montclair Bread Co., would not be covered unless my town mandated the bakery's closure. Rachel Wyman For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "My bakery is a Covid-19 success story. But we are still struggling to get by," 29 May 2020 Another factor is likely that both Laguna Honda and SFCJL participated in San Francisco’s universal testing program, mandated by the mayor and spearheaded by the city’s Department of Public Health. Sara Harrison, Wired, "Some Nursing Homes Escaped Covid-19—Here's What They Did Right," 29 May 2020 Caster interpreted the guidelines as mandating players wear face coverings during the games when not on the playing field. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "'That's not baseball': How Kentucky state guidelines have impacted return of youth sports," 29 May 2020 San Francisco officials will re-evaluate their plans should state mandates shift, said Carmen Chu, the city’s assessor-recorder and co-chair of the economic task force that crafted the reopening plan. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco unveils reopening timeline, sets dates for schools, sports, gyms, restaurants to reopen," 28 May 2020 Luz also warned that local authorities may keep mandating plant closures. Tatiana Freitas, BostonGlobe.com, "First closure in Brazil, world’s top exporter, specter of more disruptions," 28 May 2020 Aside from staggering shifts, Honda’s COVID-19 protections include scanning temperatures, requiring the use of face masks, mandating certain employees wear face shields and increasing cleaning and disinfecting. Beth Burger, Cincinnati.com, "Rebuilding America: Coronavirus pandemic has led to changes in transportation industry," 28 May 2020 In November 2017, China’s top legislative body added a clause into Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the mini-constitution that has governed the city since the 1997 handover, mandating the Hong Kong government enact national security legislation locally. Time, "Hong Kong’s National Anthem Bill Is Sparking Renewed Protests. Here’s What to Know," 27 May 2020 To Gentling and other council members, legally mandating the use of face masks in public represented a compromise between the need to protect community health and the need to keep Guthrie’s economy functioning. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "How Mask Mandates Were Beaten Down in Rural Oklahoma," 27 May 2020

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mandate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandate. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for mandate

mandate

noun
How to pronounce mandate (audio)

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
How to pronounce mandate (audio)

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
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
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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