verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt, dik-ˈ\

: to speak or read (something) to a person who writes it down or to a machine that records it

: to say or state (something) with authority or power

: to make (something) necessary


Full Definition of DICTATE

intransitive verb
:  to give dictation
:  to speak or act domineeringly :  prescribe
transitive verb
:  to speak or read for a person to transcribe or for a machine to record
a :  to issue as an order
b :  to impose, pronounce, or specify authoritatively
c :  to require or determine necessarily <injuries dictated the choice of players>

Examples of DICTATE

  1. She's dictating a letter to her secretary.
  2. They insisted on being able to dictate the terms of surrender.
  3. Tradition dictates that the youngest member should go first.
  4. The basket's function dictates its size and shape.

Origin of DICTATE

Latin dictatus, past participle of dictare to assert, dictate, frequentative of dicere to say — more at diction
First Known Use: 1581

Related to DICTATE

Rhymes with DICTATE

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noun dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

: an order or direction given with authority

: a rule or principle that guides something (such as an activity or a person's behavior)

Full Definition of DICTATE

a :  an authoritative rule, prescription, or injunction
b :  a ruling principle <according to the dictates of your conscience>
:  a command by one in authority

Examples of DICTATE

  1. <a starchily worded dictate from on high concerning the company's dress code>

First Known Use of DICTATE

DICTATE Defined for Kids


verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

Definition of DICTATE for Kids

:  to speak or read for someone else to write down or for a machine to record <dictate a letter>
:  to say or state with authority :  order <You can't dictate what I can do.>
:  to make necessary <Tradition dictates that we go first.>

Word Root of DICTATE

The Latin word dicere, meaning to say or to speak, and its form dictus give us the root dict. Words from the Latin dicere have something to do with saying or speaking. To dictate is to say words that are to be written down by someone else. To contradict is to say the opposite of what someone else has said. To predict is to say what will happen before it does.



Definition of DICTATE for Kids

:  an order or direction given with authority :  command
:  a guiding rule or principle <She ignores the dictates of fashion.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: dictatinglyPrevious Word in the Dictionary: dictaphonicAll Words Near: dictate
July 07, 2015
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