mandatory

1 of 2

adjective

man·​da·​to·​ry ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio)
1
: required by a law or rule : obligatory
the mandatory retirement age
2
: of, by, relating to, or holding a League of Nations mandate
mandatorily adverb

mandatory

2 of 2

noun

plural mandatories
: one given a mandate
especially : a nation holding a mandate from the League of Nations

Did you know?

Something mandatory is the result of a mandate or order, which usually comes in the form of a law, rule, or regulation. Today there seem to be a lot of these mandates, so mandatory seat belts, mandatory inspections for industries, and mandatory prison sentences for violent crimes are regularly in the news. But mandatory retirement at age 65, which used to be common, is now illegal in most cases.

Examples of mandatory in a Sentence

Adjective Parents object to the mandatory nature of the shots—and the fact that their child's access to education hinges on compliance with the immunization regulations. Alice Park, Time, 2 June 2008
In a move some are calling a "backdoor draft," the Pentagon has announced it will issue mandatory recalls to more than 5,600 Army troops for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Nathaniel Frank, Washington Post, 12 July 2004
At the same time, the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, which ended mandatory balanced coverage of politics, gave birth to talk radio, and the television universe splintered between the old networks and the new culture of cable gladiators in which opinion was more entertaining than information and cheaper to produce as well. Nancy Gibbs, Time, 27 Sept. 2004
the tests are mandatory for all students wishing to graduate
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Legacy Systems Integration Commercial buildings have legacy systems, the integration of which with newer systems is mandatory. Amit Samsukha, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 The government cross-appealed, arguing for the five-year mandatory minimum. Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Boating education is mandatory for anyone of legal age to operate a motorboat or sailboat who was born after 1985. The Sentinel-Record, arkansasonline.com, 8 Feb. 2024 In arguably another win for the International Sustainability Standard Board, its Canadian counterpart, the CSSB, is preparing the ground for mandatory sustainability disclosures for companies, the Globe and Mail reported. Peter Vanham, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2024 Officials were expecting a mandatory evacuation of residents along La Tuna Canyon Road due to a slow-moving, massive rain storm forecast to slam into Southern California the next day. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Feb. 2024 Their campaign, Que Calor, has drawn attention to the impact of extreme heat on outdoor workers and the need for mandatory protections. Alex Harris, Miami Herald, 31 Jan. 2024 In 1962, about two-thirds of federal spending was discretionary and about one-third was mandatory and interest. Dominic Pino, National Review, 30 Jan. 2024 Tom and Kerry Webb, of Walnut Creek, make mandatory stops for a libation at the Iron Door. Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024
Noun
In his first year, Risher cut 30% of Lyft’s workforce, introduced new features like one that matches women passengers and women drivers, and made returning to the office mandatory. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 25 Jan. 2024 India’s health ministry is holding mock drills to ensure that hospitals are prepared for a groundswell of COVID cases, the BBC reported Monday, noting that some states have again made mask-wearing in public mandatory. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 14 Apr. 2023 The country’s health ministry is holding mock drills to ensure that hospitals are prepared for rising COVID cases, the BBC reported Monday, noting that some states have again made mask-wearing in public mandatory. Erin Prater, Fortune Well, 11 Apr. 2023 Sánchez’s decision to pass a law making board parity mandatory is aligned with a European Union directive issued last year, which demands that such laws be passed in the region by 2026. Rodrigo Orihuela, Fortune, 6 Mar. 2023 Tiny New Hampshire is shelling out almost $5million this year to offer the shot free to girls 11 to 18, and 24 other statesare considering making the vaccine mandatory, which suggests that 5 milliondoses is just the tip of the iceberg. Emily Saarman, Discover Magazine, 10 June 2017 Simson said that the commission could consider making a voluntary 15% gas demand reduction mandatory, with the EU so far averaging around a 10% cut compared with previous years. John Ainger, Bloomberg.com, 12 Oct. 2022 Bush then shared that she and Burton were told that Lenz had refused to do the photoshoot, making Bush’s participation mandatory. Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, 30 Nov. 2022 First, the rival World Boxing Association was first in line among the three sanctioning bodies for the Spence mandatory, with Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis – the WBA's secondary welterweight champion – positioned for the title shot. Lance Pugmire, USA TODAY, 9 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mandatory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

see mandate entry 1

Noun

see mandate entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mandatory was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near mandatory

Cite this Entry

“Mandatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandatory. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​to·​ry
ˈman-də-ˌtōr-ē,
-ˌtȯr-
1
: containing or constituting a command : obligatory
the assembly was mandatory for all students
2
: of, relating to, or holding a League of Nations mandate

Legal Definition

mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​to·​ry ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio)
: containing or constituting a command : being obligatory
mandatorily adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on mandatory

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