from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An authoritative command or instruction.
  • noun A command or authorization given by a political electorate to the winner of an election.
  • noun A commission from the League of Nations authorizing a member nation to administer a territory.
  • noun A region under such administration.
  • noun Law The specific directive issued by a reviewing court to a lower court, as in requiring the lower court to enter a new judgment or to conduct further proceedings consistent with the reviewing court's ruling.
  • transitive verb To assign (a colony or territory) to a specified nation under a mandate of the League of Nations.
  • transitive verb To make mandatory, as by law; decree or require.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To command.
  • To commit (a sermon, speech, etc.) to memory by repeating (it) aloud to one's self before delivery.
  • noun A command; an order, precept, or injunction; a commission.
  • noun An official command addressed by a superior to an inferior, to control his conduct in a specific manner.
  • noun In early Rom. law (before the doctrines of agency were developed), a trust or commission by which one person, called the mandator, requested another, the mandatarius, to act in his own name and as if for himself in a particular transaction (special mandate), or in all the affairs of the former (general mandate).
  • noun In civil law
  • noun A contract of bailment in which a thing is transferred by the mandator to the possession of the mandatory, upon an undertaking of the latter to perform gratuitously some service in reference to it: distinguished from a mere deposit for safe keeping.
  • noun A contract of agency by which the mandator confides a matter of business, or his business generally, to an agent called the mandatary.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An official or authoritative command, order, or authorization from a superior official to a subordinate; an order or injunction; a commission; a judicial precept.
  • noun (Politics) An authorization to carry out a specific public policy, given by the electorate to their representatives; -- it is considered to be implied by the election of a candidate by a significant margin after that candidate has campaigned with that policy as a prominent element of the campaign platform.
  • noun Authorization by a multinational body to a nation to administer the government and affairs of a territory, usually a former colony.
  • noun (Canon Law) A rescript of the pope, commanding an ordinary collator to put the person therein named in possession of the first vacant benefice in his collation.
  • noun (Scots Law) A contract by which one employs another to manage any business for him. By the Roman law, it must have been gratuitous.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An official or authoritative command; an order or injunction; a commission; a judicial precept.
  • verb to authorize

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a document giving an official instruction or command
  • verb make mandatory
  • verb assign authority to
  • verb assign under a mandate
  • noun the commission that is given to a government and its policies through an electoral victory
  • noun a territory surrendered by Turkey or Germany after World War I and put under the tutelage of some other European power until they are able to stand by themselves


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin mandātum, from neuter past participle of mandāre, to order; see man- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Noun is from Latin mandatum ("a charge, order, command, commission, injunction"), neut of. mandatus, past participle of mandare ("to commit to one's charge, order, command, commission, literally to put into one's hands"), from manus ("hand") + dare ("to put"). Compare command, commend, demand, remand.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word mandate.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.