• synonyms


[man-duh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
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  1. authoritatively ordered; obligatory; compulsory: It is mandatory that all students take two years of math.
  2. pertaining to, of the nature of, or containing a command.
  3. Law. permitting no option; not to be disregarded or modified: a mandatory clause.
  4. having received a mandate, as a nation.
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noun, plural man·da·to·ries.
  1. mandatary.
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Origin of mandatory

From the Late Latin word mandātōrius, dating back to 1655–65. See mandate, -tory1
Related formsman·da·to·ri·ly, adverbnon·man·da·to·ry, adjective, noun, plural non·man·da·to·ries.un·man·da·to·ry, adjective

Synonyms for mandatory

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mandatory

forced, involuntary, indispensable, binding, essential, obligatory, imperative, compulsory, requisite, commanding, compelling, imperious, needful, irremissible

Examples from the Web for mandatory

Contemporary Examples of mandatory

Historical Examples of mandatory

British Dictionary definitions for mandatory


  1. having the nature or powers of a mandate
  2. obligatory; compulsory
  3. (of a state) having received a mandate over some territory
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noun plural -ries
  1. Also called: mandatary a person or state holding a mandate
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Derived Formsmandatorily, adverb
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 mandatory


1570s, "of the nature of a mandate," from Late Latin mandatorius "pertaining to a mandator," from Latin mandatus, past participle of mandare (see mandate (n.)). Sense of "obligatory because commanded" is from 1818.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper