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

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

Some analysts counter that the mandate has never been particularly aggressively enforced and has had little impact. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Individual Mandate," 15 Feb. 2019 To comply with a state mandate that the county consolidate its 911 centers, officials included it in the new public safety complex with the Will County sheriff’s department on Laraway Road and US Route 52 in Joliet. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Brad Veerman remembered as a 'great public servant'," 9 July 2018 Schimel's lawsuit argues that because the tax has been dropped, the individual mandate to buy health insurance and, with it, the entire law are no longer constitutional. Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Obamacare costs could drop 5% in 2019, under plan by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker," 19 Apr. 2018 Morgan Stanley banker Michael Grimes moonlighted as an Uber driver to help land the company’s IPO mandate. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "How Investors Can Prepare for Uber and Lyft IPOs," 1 Mar. 2019 This includes, for example, Stuart Kyle Duncan, an attorney who fought the ACA’s contraceptive mandate in front of the Supreme Court and is now a judge on the Fifth Circuit. Li Zhou, Vox, "Trump has gotten 66 judges confirmed this year. In his second year, Obama had gotten 49.," 27 Dec. 2018 The Trump administration, though, now must contend with Mr. López Obrador, an enormously popular politician who won a landslide victory and a broad mandate. Elisabeth Malkin, New York Times, "U.S. Delegation and Mexico’s Next President Aim to Reset Relations," 13 July 2018 The administration was under a court mandate to reunify families separated between early May and June 20, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order that stopped separations. Colleen Long, chicagotribune.com, "Trump administration says eligible migrant children reunited with families, but some parents already deported," 12 July 2018 The Parkland shooting has prompted the state to enact new safety measures, including a mandate for individual schools to create threat teams similar to those urged by the Secret Service. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Secret Service urges U.S. schools to set up 'threat teams' to prevent shootings," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Illinois has been a fiscal mess for years, but a saving grace has been that the state Constitution mandates a flat tax rate that is now 4.95% on personal income. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Pritzker’s Illinois Exit Ramp," 15 Mar. 2019 The 1947 ruling in their case, Mendez et al v. Westminster et al, marked the first time that any U.S. schools were mandated to desegregate, although only for cases involving Mexican-American students. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "Sylvia Mendez Helped Integrate California Schools for Latinx Students in the 1940s, But She Says the U.S. Is More Segregated Now," 3 Dec. 2018 That brings fuel-cell vehicles in line with battery electrics running off grid power, as California’s grid is mandated to be 33 percent renewable by 2020. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Where Are All the Hydrogen Cars?," 10 Aug. 2018 Nigeria now has 27 agencies mandated to tackle corruption, but Mr. Buhari’s tenure has failed to dent the country’s graft problem, according to Transparency International, a watchdog. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "Nigeria Postpones Presidential Election Hours Before Polls Were Set to Open," 16 Feb. 2019 Congress mandated the technology by the end of last year, but compliance has been spotty and the deadline has been extended. David Koenig, The Seattle Times, "Safety board highlights need for transportation improvements," 4 Feb. 2019 The government long mandated that any foreign automaker who wanted to make cars inside the country had to partner with a Chinese manufacturer, and could not own more than 50 percent of the joint venture. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Trump administration criticizes Chinese company’s attempted takeover of Faraday Future," 21 Nov. 2018 The military mandated the use of burn pits as a matter of military judgment. Perry Chiaramonte, Fox News, "Veterans facing new obstacle after appeal is denied in burn pit case," 2 Oct. 2018 The new rules mandate that compliant playgrounds need to be accessible via ramps and barrier-free travel routes, include a range of accessible play options, and provide an appropriate surface beneath all accessible equipment. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Why cities need accessible playgrounds," 20 July 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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandate

Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

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)

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

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

a shady place in a garden or forest

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
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!