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

People could, if they were organized enough, vote to install a government that has an explicit mandate to punish fossil fuel companies. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "Oil companies are confused about the future of oil," 10 July 2019 O’Dell said that some property owners have acted without the mandate of local officials. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Southern California isn't doing enough to fix earthquake-vulnerable buildings, expert says," 9 July 2019 Both the mandate and the subsidies are slated to take effect in 2020. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Covered California premiums to rise by smallest-ever amount," 9 July 2019 Several Harris supporters in the state said her pointed and personal critique of Biden, who opposed busing mandates in the 1970s, struck a chord in South Carolina. Anchorage Daily News, "Biden says he was wrong in comments about segregationists," 6 July 2019 Several Harris supporters in the state said her pointed and personal critique of Biden, who opposed busing mandates in the 1970s, struck a chord in South Carolina. Juana Summers, chicagotribune.com, "Biden apologizes for recent comments about working with segregationist senators," 6 July 2019 Several Harris supporters in the state said her pointed and personal critique of Biden, who opposed busing mandates in the 1970s, struck a chord in South Carolina. Time, "Biden Apologizes for Remarks About Working With Segregationists," 6 July 2019 Ethiopia has nine regional states and two cities that fall under the administrative mandate of the federal government. Yohannes Gedamu, Quartz Africa, "The underlying tension behind Ethiopia’s flawed federal system and its risks," 26 June 2019 The Tropical Forest Standard — a blueprint for how carbon offsets could be awarded for intercontinental programs — would raise the stakes for such projects, allowing them to be used to fulfill government mandates. Lisa Song, ProPublica, "California Legislators Urge Caution, but Greenlight a Plan That Could Lead to the Widespread Use of Forestry Offsets," 21 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bill mandates that any person selling, renting, trading or transferring a firearm must first obtain the results of a background check before completing the transaction. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "'Enough is enough': Virginia lawmakers debate ban on assault weapons," 9 July 2019 The Trump administration's push to mandate pharmaceutical companies to list their prices on television advertisements is hitting a road block at the courts. NBC News, "The 2020 Senate map begins to take shape," 9 July 2019 The statute mandates 10 years in prison if the baby suffers no ill effects, 10 to 20 years if the baby shows signs of exposure or harm and 10 to 99 years if the baby dies. al.com, "Case against Marshae Jones brings ‘personhood’ back to spotlight," 27 June 2019 Indeed, France is not the only EU member to mandate large numbers of childhood vaccines. Alex Whiting, Quartz, "How France is convincing its citizens to get vaccinated," 26 June 2019 Emily Broad Leib, of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, says that to have an impact, these changes need to be federally mandated. The Washington Post, oregonlive.com, "This man ate ‘expired’ food for a year. Here’s why expiration dates can be meaningless.," 18 June 2019 Congress mandates energy efficiency standards for appliances. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "Proposed Energy Efficiency Rules Could Slow Emissions Reductions," 17 June 2019 The law also mandates research and planning for future conservation. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's magazine, "Catechism of the Waters," 10 June 2019 The city's contract mandates monthly checks every 30 days for new arrests or convictions. Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville violence interrupter suspended months after being indicted on drug charges," 23 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandate

The first known use of mandate was in 1501

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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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