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

Students from families earning less than $65,000 get tuition plus mandatory fees, room and board. Dallas News, "UT-Austin promises free tuition to students with family income less than $65,000 in 2020," 9 July 2019 What would change if America became the 22nd country to make voting mandatory? The Economist, "If everyone had voted, Hillary Clinton would probably be president," 5 July 2019 For Connecticut residents living on campus, that means tuition and mandatory fees would increase from $28,604 to $30,484. Kathleen Megan, courant.com, "UConn trustees approve budget with plan to close $26.7 million deficit," 26 June 2019 The increase in students' tuition as well as their mandatory fees is expected to bring in about $9.2 million in additional revenue, according to a university presentation. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "It will cost more to attend the University of Louisville this fall," 20 June 2019 Such tales not only appear in the mainstream media but provide fodder for men’s rights websites and have even inspired bills to make DNA testing mandatory at birth, though none has actually become law. The Conversation, oregonlive.com, "Who’s is your daddy? It’s not all about DNA," 16 June 2019 Others advocate making hate crime reporting mandatory under federal law, instituting stronger protections against hate crimes at the federal and state level, and passing legislation that prevents discrimination across the board. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "Anti-LGBT hate crimes are rising, the FBI says. But it gets worse," 28 June 2019 On the morning of the Ultimate Trails race, the unusually hot weather forecast led the race directors to revise the mandatory kit list. The Economist, "For women, running is still an act of defiance," 28 June 2019 But in an era of mandatory arbitration clauses, class action lawsuits can no longer hold companies accountable. Max Kornblith, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger would hurt consumers," 27 June 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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Dictionary Entries near mandatory

mandated

mandatee

mandator

mandatory

mandatum

man-day

Mandaya

Statistics for mandatory

Last Updated

16 Jul 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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