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 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

The fiscal year 2020 budget is $300 million more than his preliminary budget released in February, despite city agencies making hundreds of millions in mandatory cuts that the mayor ordered. Katie Honan, WSJ, "New York City Budget Plan Boosts Spending Again," 25 Apr. 2019 In a new interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the Bangtan Boys opened up about the potentially imminent possibility of the band eventually breaking up due to South Korea’s mandatory military service. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS Said They Will Likely Eventually Break Up to Serve in the South Korean Military," 23 Apr. 2019 Overseen by the Washington Supreme Court, the bar association is a self-regulating agency of legal professionals that derives its funding through mandatory fees of $453 per year paid by each of its roughly 40,000 members. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Amid turmoil, judge rules Washington State Bar Association must disclose correspondence that explains director’s firing," 14 Apr. 2019 Long-term resolutions the students requested include hiring more faculty of color, student representation on the school’s board of trustees, and the implementation of a mandatory black studies course. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "How Students of Color Matter are Protesting Racism at Ethical Culture Fieldston School," 14 Mar. 2019 Under the Supreme Court’s pronouncement, a company that binds all its workers to submit to mandatory arbitration may one day decide to quietly and intentionally subtract $1 from each employees paycheck every week, just because. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "The Supreme Court Has Decided to Shut Workers Out of the Courthouse for Good," 21 May 2018 But, of course, the practice of mandatory arbitration for employees wasn’t commonplace then either. Stephanie Russell-kraft, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s War Against Workers," 21 May 2018 The spread of mandatory-arbitration clauses in employment contracts and the decline of trade unions are both signs of that imbalance. The Economist, "The case against non-compete clauses," 17 May 2018 Meghan recalled in her Elle essay how her seventh grade English teacher told her to check the box for Caucasian on a mandatory census. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle and Her Dad: A Timeline of Their Rocky Relationship," 6 Mar. 2019

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

mandated

mandatee

mandator

mandatory

mandatum

man-day

Mandaya

Statistics for mandatory

Last Updated

7 May 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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Comments on mandatory

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