• WordNet 3.6
    • n mandamus an extraordinary writ commanding an official to perform a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty and not a matter for the official's discretion; used only when all other judicial remedies fail
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Mandamus (Law) A writ issued by a superior court and directed to some inferior tribunal, or to some corporation or person exercising authority, commanding the performance of some specified duty.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mandamus In law, a writ issuing from a superior court, directed to an inferior court, an officer, a corporation, or other body, requiring the person or persons addressed to do some act therein specified, as being within their office and duty, as to admit or restore a person to an office or franchise, or to deliver papers, affix a seal to a paper, etc. Its use is generally confined to cases of complaint by some person having an interest in the performance of a public duty, when effectual relief against its neglect cannot be had in the course of an ordinary action.
    • mandamus To issue a mandamus to; serve with a mandamus.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Mandamus man-dā′mus a writ or command issued by a higher court to a lower.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., we command, fr. mandare, to command
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L., 'we command'—mandāre, to command.


In literature:

If the Court refused to send out this dispatch, the Board could apply to the King's Bench for a mandamus.
"The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 4 (of 4)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
However, he and I did talk how to get him a mandamus for a fellowship, which I will endeavour.
"Diary of Samuel Pepys, 1664" by Samuel Pepys
We will issue a mandamus for a new election on the spot!
"Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, Vol. 1"
But he had interest enough with the crown to cause a mandamus to be issued, commanding the Barons to admit them.
"An History of Birmingham (1783)" by William Hutton
William Gregory was appointed by His Majesty's mandamus to succeed him in 1774.
"Scotland's Mark on America" by George Fraser Black
They cannot issue a mandamus* to the President or legislature, or to any of their officers.
"Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson" by Thomas Jefferson
After the Secretary of the Navy rejected the highest bid, plaintiff sought mandamus to compel delivery.
"The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation"
In favour of the latter, who was Prior of Kilmainham, near Dublin, a mandamus, dated 10 Edw.
"Notes and Queries, Number 192, July 2, 1853" by Various
The thirty-six councillors, appointed under writ of mandamus, excited the most indignation.
"The Siege of Boston" by Allen French
They rejected her application, whereupon she applied for a mandamus.
"The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV" by Various

In news:

Social Security – Writ Of Mandamus – No Jurisdiction.