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
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 \ ˈman-​də-​ˌtȯr-​ə-​lē How to pronounce mandatory (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for mandatory

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Vaccines will not be mandatory, but most athletes and officials probably will be vaccinated. Washington Post, "Olympic officials are determined to have a Tokyo Games despite Japan’s growing doubts," 1 May 2021 There were also several signs placed around the Maverik Center stating that mask-wearing was mandatory. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Photos: See what it looks like at the Republican state convention," 1 May 2021 The order is not mandatory, but families can depart on commercial flights. Michelle Stoddart, ABC News, "US to restrict travel from India as 1st American COVID aid begins to arrive," 1 May 2021 Masks are mandatory in public and when using public transit -- not wearing one is an arrestable offense. CNN, "Traveling to Ghana during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go," 30 Apr. 2021 Masks are mandatory in the theater, and capacity is limited to 50% to ensure social distancing. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "Happy Cinco de Mayo: Celebrate with mariachi, lowriders and other events in metro Phoenix," 29 Apr. 2021 And yes, masks are mandatory, except while eating or drinking. Mike Hamersly, sun-sentinel.com, "Inaugural Bayfront Jazz Festival aims to ‘bring back joy’," 29 Apr. 2021 Serotkin also told a Facebook user last week that the changes were mandatory. Sam Dorman, Fox News, "Virginia DOE contradicts itself in attempt to walk back equity-focused math framework," 28 Apr. 2021 Andreas Voss, an infectious disease specialist at Radboud University who leads the project, notes that the social science guidelines are not mandatory and that tickets came with conditions saying Fieldlab could not be held liable for infections. Jop De Vrieze, Science | AAAS, "Get your coronavirus test, join the party: Experimental mass events in the Netherlands draw fire," 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The death of Cecil, who would have turned 33 on Saturday, made protective netting above the glass mandatory in the NHL and commonplace at rinks around the world. BostonGlobe.com, "Joey Daccord’s long trip to the NHL worth every step," 20 Mar. 2021 The Shift Project showed that at 34 French universities, less than one-quarter of degree programs offered any courses in climate and energy issues, and most of those did not make such a class mandatory. BostonGlobe.com, "At elite French universities, students demand environmental action," 30 Jan. 2021 The group was scheduled for an upcoming mandatory, aka boring, 48-hour training, but were instead surprised with an island vacation to the Florida Keys. orlandosentinel.com, "A hospital in Florida surprised its COVID nurses with an island vacation," 11 Nov. 2020 Capacity is reduced, users spaced out, mask usage mandatory and coffee/tea service temporarily put on hold because of the indoor dining restrictions. Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, "At night it’s a downtown Naperville restaurant and bar, but by day it’s workspace for those without offices," 30 Oct. 2020 Black Sheep, an upscale restaurant group in Hong Kong, has made temperature checks and surveys about medical history mandatory at its 23 restaurants. Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, "No Spitting, No Sunbathing: Cities Learn to Live With Coronavirus," 11 Apr. 2020 Black Sheep, an upscale restaurant group in Hong Kong, has made temperature checks and surveys about medical history mandatory at its 23 restaurants. Su-hyun Lee, BostonGlobe.com, "Across the globe, cities slowly emerging from quarantine face ‘new normal’," 2 May 2020 Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have all made face coverings in public mandatory. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, "Should you wear a mask? US health officials re-examine guidance amid coronavirus crisis," 31 Mar. 2020 Now, the push to make paid sick leave mandatory has become a focal point of the coronavirus pandemic response on Capitol Hill, Dustin Gardiner reports. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: ‘Drive-through’ coronavirus tests start — but more needed across state," 12 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for mandatory

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mandatory

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mandatory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mandatory. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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 mandatory (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on mandatory

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