mandatory

adjective
man·​da·​to·​ry | \ˈman-də-ˌtȯr-ē \

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 \
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 \ 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

The company wanted to make TPMs mandatory on desktop systems to get a designed for Windows sticker but had to relent and remove the requirement. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Mac mini review—a testament to Apple’s stubbornness," 23 Nov. 2018 The picture was posted Saturday by mayoral candidate and Black Lives Matter activist Ja’Mal Green, who blamed the officers' seeming exhaustion on mandatory overtime ordered my Emanuel. Chris Irvine, Fox News, "Chicago police chief blames city violence on lenient judges and prosecutors," 21 Aug. 2018 In response, Congress and many states pushed for mandatory-minimum statutes, truth-in-sentencing laws and three-strikes provisions for the most violent offenders—all in an effort to end revolving-door justice. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Take a Step Back on the First Step Act," 20 Nov. 2018 Sessions also rescinded an Obama-era memo sent out by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in 2013, which told federal prosecutors to avoid charges for low-level drug offenders that could trigger lengthy mandatory minimums. Alex Ward, Vox, "Jeff Sessions is out as attorney general," 7 Nov. 2018 Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum. BostonGlobe.com, "President Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation," 10 July 2018 Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were resentenced in October 2015 to serve the mandatory minimum. Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, chicagotribune.com, "Trump pardons ranchers in case that inspired 2016 occupation of national wildlife refuge in Oregon," 10 July 2018 Prosecutors won an appeal and the Hammonds were re-sentenced to serve the mandatory minimum. CBS News, "Trump pardons Hammond ranchers in case that inspired 2016 Oregon militia occupation," 10 July 2018 Each count of prescription fraud carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison, while a conviction of aggravated identity theft would result in a mandatory minimum of two years. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Owner of a Wauwatosa pain clinic is charged as part of a nationwide opioids crackdown," 29 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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Learn More about mandatory

Dictionary Entries near mandatory

mandate

mandatee

mandator

mandatory

mandatum

man-day

Mandaya

Statistics for mandatory

Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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 \

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 \

Legal Definition of mandatory 

: containing or constituting a command : being obligatory

Other Words from mandatory

mandatorily \-​ˌtȯr-​i-​lē \ adverb

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