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 Lancaster high school's program was not mandatory — unlike what the Little Red School House had tried. NBC News, "Elite NYC private school ends separating students by race," 5 July 2018 Edelman participated fully in Tuesday's workout as part of the Patriots' three-day, mandatory minicamp. Fox News, "Patriots' Julian Edelman facing 4-game suspension for violating NFL's PED policy," 7 June 2018 After all, once mandatory minicamps end in mid-June, teams don’t get together again until training camps open in late July. Washington Post, "NFL teams under no time pressure to form own anthem policies," 24 May 2018 The last mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted in the Goleta area of Southern California where a small but destructive fire burned during the weekend. Fox News, "The Latest: 3 arrested in connection with Colorado wildfire," 10 July 2018 Around the same time, mandatory evacuation orders were expanded to include the area west of Highway 16 to Berryessa Knoxville Road from Old County Road 40 down to County Road 53 in Yolo and Napa counties. Sarah Parvini, latimes.com, "Wildfire in Yolo County grows to 82,700 acres with containment at 25%," 4 July 2018 Compliance will be voluntary this year but will be made mandatory for new vehicles at the start of 2019, the people said. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "A Chip in the Windshield: China’s Surveillance State Will Soon Track Cars," 13 June 2018 The mandatory session followed a high-profile arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks who were waiting to meet a business partner when a white employee called the cops on them, accusing them of trespassing. chicagotribune.com, "Why one-day diversity training like Starbucks did is not enough," 1 June 2018 All volunteers must attend a mandatory training session from 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday, June 6. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Against Mandatory Minimums counts 22 states that have cut sentencing guidelines for drug offenders. Jon Schuppe, NBC News, "Republican States Make the Case Against Trump’s Drug Policy," 19 May 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

8 Oct 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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Comments on mandatory

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