mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​to·​ry | \ ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio) \

Definition of mandatory

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : required by a law or rule : obligatory the mandatory retirement age
2 : of, by, relating to, or holding a League of Nations mandate

mandatory

noun
man·​da·​to·​ry | \ ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio) \
plural mandatories

Definition of mandatory (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from mandatory

Adjective

mandatorily \ -​ˌtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce mandatorily (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for mandatory

Synonyms: Adjective

compulsory, forced, imperative, incumbent, involuntary, necessary, nonelective, obligatory, peremptory, required

Antonyms: Adjective

elective, optional, voluntary

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

One solution gets a lot of attention right after every election cycle as a response to the abysmally low turnout numbers: make voting mandatory. Chayenne Polimedio, Vox, "Is voting a civic right or a civic duty?," 6 Nov. 2018 The system is optional, but the Chinese government plans to make scores mandatory and public by 2020. Fox News, "Gutfeld: Be nicer. It will drive your enemies nuts," 5 Aug. 2018 Name tags would be good, mandatory wear your BP (batting practice) jersey with your name on the back would help. Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times, "A bright, sunny day in Arizona as Mariners pitchers and catchers report for spring training," 12 Feb. 2019 Some educators are calling for the courses to be mandatory, taught alongside history and math. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 Their program for government includes plans to revise a 2017 law that made 10 vaccines mandatory for Italian schoolchildren. Gaia Pianigiani, New York Times, "Proof of Children’s Vaccinations? Italy Will Now Take Parents’ Word for It," 5 July 2018 In fact, Kolodinsky and Lusk found that mandatory labeling led to a 19% reduction in opposition to GMO foods. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Trust in Transparency: Study Shows Labeling GMO Foods Improves Consumers' Attitudes," 28 June 2018 Potential battles are also brewing in San Antonio and Dallas where citizen groups are collecting signatures to place mandatory paid sick leave measures on their November ballots. The Star-telegram Editorial Board, star-telegram, "Cities shouldn't require businesses to offer paid sick leave," 25 June 2018 The remaining bill allows federal agencies to create new regulations making DNA testing mandatory for certain kinds of visas. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Family DNA Testing at the Border Would Be an Ethical Quagmire," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This system took millions of dollars to develop and is often pointed to as a working example of upload filters by rights holders and lawmakers who wish to make such technology mandatory for every website which hosts user content online. Ulrich Kaiser, Ars Technica, "Google: Sorry professor, old Beethoven recordings on YouTube are copyrighted," 3 Sep. 2018 Separately, an Iceland law that took effect Jan. 1 makes equal pay for equal work mandatory in the northern European nation, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Citi to boost pay for women and minorities, closing gaps in the U.S., UK, and Germany," 15 Jan. 2018 Buying such insurance is quasi-mandatory, since banks won’t issue mortgages unless a property is covered. Emanuel Ubert, Washington Post, "The strange story of how Florida’s lawmakers subsidized hurricane insurance," 13 Sep. 2017 In August, Medicare officials proposed canceling mandatory bundled payments for certain surgeries and scaling back the program for knee and hip replacements. Chad Terhune, Kaiser Health News, "Why One California County Went Surgery Shopping," 1 Sep. 2017 Tests to check that older vehicles in Washington’s most-populous areas comply with emission regulations: Mandatory. Jessica Lee, The Seattle Times, "With newer, cleaner cars on the road, is Washington’s vehicle emission test still necessary?," 31 July 2017 But some mandatories come with parole In some cases, a minimum sentence will still be imposed, but the convict would be newly eligible for parole. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Here's how Louisiana sentencing laws are changing under criminal justice reform," 26 June 2017 Like Obamacare, which essentially makes health care mandatory for everyone, insurance coverage is compulsory in Germany. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "How countries around the world do single-payer health care," 2 June 2017 But some mandatories come with parole In some cases, a minimum sentence will still be imposed, but the convict would be newly eligible for parole. Julia O'donoghue, NOLA.com, "Here's how Louisiana sentencing laws are changing under criminal justice reform," 26 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mandatory.' 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 mandatory

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mandatory

Adjective

see mandate entry 1

Noun

see mandate entry 1

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Statistics for mandatory

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mandatory

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

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More Definitions for mandatory

mandatory

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of mandatory

: required by a law or rule

mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​tory | \ ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio) \

Kids Definition of mandatory

: required by law or by a command Student attendance is mandatory.

mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​to·​ry | \ ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce mandatory (audio) \

Legal Definition of mandatory

: containing or constituting a command : being obligatory

Other Words from mandatory

mandatorily \ -​ˌtȯr-​i-​lē How to pronounce mandatorily (audio) \ adverb

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