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[man-deyt] /ˈmæn deɪt/
a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative:
The president had a clear mandate to end the war.
a command from a superior court or official to a lower one.
an authoritative order or command:
a royal mandate.
(in the League of Nations) a commission given to a nation to administer the government and affairs of a former Turkish territory or German colony.
a mandated territory or colony.
Roman Catholic Church. an order issued by the pope, especially one commanding the preferment of a certain person to a benefice.
Roman and Civil Law. a contract by which one engages gratuitously to perform services for another.
(in modern civil law) any contract by which a person undertakes to perform services for another.
Roman Law. an order or decree by the emperor, especially to governors of provinces.
verb (used with object), mandated, mandating.
to authorize or decree (a particular action), as by the enactment of law.
to order or require; make mandatory:
to mandate sweeping changes in the election process.
to consign (a territory, colony, etc.) to the charge of a particular nation under a mandate.
Origin of mandate
1540-50; < Latin mandātum, noun use of neuter of mandātus, past participle of mandāre to commission, literally, to give into (someone's) hand. See manus, date1
Related forms
unmandated, adjective
3. fiat, decree, injunction, edict, ruling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mandating
  • mandating universal service requires regulators to decide what services people should have and what prices they should pay.
  • The process of mandating graduate degrees for advancement inversely reduces the quality of the degrees.
  • mandating further emission cuts, it argued, would not solve the problem of human exposure to the neurotoxin.
  • Thinking about ways to proceed safely is one thing, mandating safeguards may hamper innovation.
  • Incidentally, mandating a higher performance from all vehicles is a great way of adding value to a battered market.
  • We don't, however, think that mandating the provision of certain kinds of benefits can increase total compensation.
  • mandating levels of health individuals must maintain.
  • The government's involvement would be limited to mandating some minimal standard of catastrophic coverage.
  • Meanwhile, governments around the world are mandating the use of ethanol in an effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • These included moving the service line closer to the net and mandating the use of smaller and less-powerful wooden rackets.
British Dictionary definitions for mandating


noun (ˈmændeɪt; -dɪt)
an official or authoritative instruction or command
(politics) the support or commission given to a government and its policies or an elected representative and his policies through an electoral victory
(often capital) Also called mandated territory. (formerly) any of the territories under the trusteeship of the League of Nations administered by one of its member states
  1. (Roman law) a contract by which one person commissions another to act for him gratuitously and the other accepts the commission
  2. (contract law) a contract of bailment under which the party entrusted with goods undertakes to perform gratuitously some service in respect of such goods
  3. (Scots law) a contract by which a person is engaged to act in the management of the affairs of another
verb (transitive) (ˈmændeɪt)
(international law) to assign (territory) to a nation under a mandate
to delegate authority to
(obsolete) to give a command to
Derived Forms
mandator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin mandātum something commanded, from mandāre to command, perhaps from manus hand + dāre to give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for mandating



"judicial or legal order," c.1500, from Middle French mandat (15c.) and directly from Latin mandatum "commission, command, order," noun use of neuter past participle of mandare "to order, commit to one's charge," literally "to give into one's hand," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). Political sense of "approval supposedly conferred by voters to the policies or slogans advocated by winners of an election" is from 1796. League of Nations sense is from 1919.


1620s, "to command," from mandate (n.). Meaning "to delegate authority, permit to act on behalf of a group" is from 1958; used earlier in the context of the League of Nations, "to authorize a power to control a certain territory for some specified purpose" (1919). Related: Mandated; mandating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mandating in Culture

mandate definition

A command or an expression of a desire, especially by a group of voters for a political program. Politicians elected in landslide victories often claim that their policies have received a mandate from the voters.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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