verb (used with object), man·dat·ed, man·dat·ing.

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 formsun·man·dat·ed, adjective

Synonyms for mandate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mandate

Contemporary Examples of mandate

Historical Examples of mandate

  • The mandate was obeyed, and Bates was lodged in the forecastle, securely ironed.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • While she accepted him because it was the mandate of the gods, that was no reason that she should leave him in peace.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • It was the mandate of his instinct that that head must be free.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • The wretched Theodora was then ordered to retire, but she was unable to obey the mandate.

    Gomez Arias

    Joaqun Telesforo de Trueba y Coso

  • I was only too glad to comply with this mandate, but it was long ere I slept.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

British Dictionary definitions for mandate


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
Also called: mandated territory (often capital) (formerly) any of the territories under the trusteeship of the League of Nations administered by one of its member states
  1. Roman lawa contract by which one person commissions another to act for him gratuitously and the other accepts the commission
  2. contract lawa contract of bailment under which the party entrusted with goods undertakes to perform gratuitously some service in respect of such goods
  3. Scots lawa contract by which a person is engaged to act in the management of the affairs of another

verb (ˈmændeɪt) (tr)

international law to assign (territory) to a nation under a mandate
to delegate authority to
obsolete to give a command to
Derived Formsmandator, noun

Word Origin for mandate

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for mandate

"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

mandate in Culture


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 New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.