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.

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

unmandated, adjective

3. fiat, decree, injunction, edict, ruling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  an official or authoritative instruction or command
2.  politics the support or commission given to a government and its policies or an elected representative and his policies through an electoral victory
3.  (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
4.  a.  Roman law a contract by which one person commissions another to act for him gratuitously and the other accepts the commission
 b.  contract law a contract of bailment under which the party entrusted with goods undertakes to perform gratuitously some service in respect of such goods
 c.  Scots law a contract by which a person is engaged to act in the management of the affairs of another
5.  international law to assign (territory) to a nation under a mandate
6.  to delegate authority to
7.  obsolete to give a command to
[C16: from Latin mandātum something commanded, from mandāre to command, perhaps from manus hand + dāre to give]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1500, from L. mandatum "commission, order," noun use of neut. pp. of mandare "to order, commit to one's charge," lit. "to give into one's hand," probably from manus "hand" (see manual) + dare "to give" (see date (1)). Political sense of "approval
of policy supposedly conferred by voters to winners of an election" is from 1796. Related: Mandated.

"to delegate authority, permit to act on behalf of a group," 1958, from mandate (n.). Used earlier in the context of the League of Nations, "to authorize a power to control a certain territory for some purpose" (1919).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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