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

Even before Obamacare’s birth control mandate, American women were already gravitating toward these more effective contraceptives. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "The American abortion rate is at an all-time low," 3 Dec. 2018 This rocket mandate has been a political expediency, as flying on the SLS rocket enabled the costly Clipper mission to win support from Culberson's counterpart in the Senate, Alabama's Richard Shelby. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A congressman’s loss clouds the future of two demanding missions to Europa," 3 Dec. 2018 In other cases, homeowners ignore the requirement to buy insurance—and the government does little to enforce the mandate. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Climate change and the coming coastal real estate crash," 16 Oct. 2018 The forecast may also help the team argue its case for extending the mission beyond the initial two-year mandate. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "New NASA Planet Hunter May Find 10,000 Alien Worlds in Just Two Years," 8 Aug. 2018 Finally, Democrats also passed a law intended to help stabilize the state’s health insurance exchanges — by imposing an individual mandate on the state level after Trump and Republicans repealed the national one. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Democrats won 6 more state governments. New Jersey shows what they can do.," 21 Nov. 2018 And, even more good news, the ACA's contraception mandate that requires many forms of birth control to be covered by insurance at no out-of-pocket cost to you, has also remained intact, Donovan says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Heads Up: You Can Still Sign Up for Obamacare and Open Enrollment Is Going On Right Now," 14 Nov. 2018 Currently, the state's renewables mandate requires utilities like NV Energy to cover 25 percent of its electricity generation with renewable sources by 2025, so again, Question 6 makes the state's renewables path more aggressive. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "States will vote on these energy and environment issues in midterm elections," 4 Nov. 2018 If built, this pipeline would create the carbon equivalent of 30 new coal plants, which is contradictory to current climate change global mandates to reduce carbon emissions. Mary Lovell, Teen Vogue, "Bayou Bridge Pipeline Meets Resistance from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their aura of secrecy—mandated by Venetian law, which forbade any exterior sign for Jewish houses of worship—made them seem all the more precious. Leslie Camhi, ELLE Decor, "Inside the World's Most Beautiful Synagogues," 5 Nov. 2018 Campaign contributions were severely limited, the disclosure of donors was strictly mandated, and the Special Prosecutor Act was passed, in an effort to institutionalize the continued, nonpartisan monitoring of corruption in the federal government. Kevin Baker, The New Republic, "Why America needs truth and reconciliation after Trump," 17 May 2018 That's why the bill mandates that insurers in the state cover all fees for mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and MRIs a doctor recommends. Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "Everything You Need to Know Before Voting in the Midterm Elections," 10 Oct. 2018 Require information and safety education, which mandates that all devices come with a bell, a speedometer and a lamp on the front and back of the device. Megan Henry, Indianapolis Star, "Hundreds of electric scooters invade downtown Indianapolis; some rejoice, others scratch their heads," 1 July 2018 Because the federal government can’t mandate security procedures, DHS’s mission is largely to persuade state officials of the importance of securing their own systems. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 The court ultimately ruled in favor of desegregation and mandated the integration of the elementary schools in those four districts. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "How Méndez vs. Westminster Helped End Segregated Schools for Latinx Children in 1940s California," 12 Oct. 2018 Whereas breaking up Facebook into smaller companies would mean splitting one walled garden into several more, mandating interoperability just tears down the walls. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "If You Want To Fix Facebook, Tear Down Its Walls," 31 July 2018 The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was repealed in Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but other core provisions such as insurance exchanges and mandating coverage for pre-existing conditions remain. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mandate

Statistics for mandate

Last Updated

14 Dec 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

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 typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!