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1

dictate

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verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt, dik-ˈ\

Simple Definition of dictate

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dictate

dictated

dictating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to give dictation

  3. 2 :  to speak or act domineeringly :  prescribe

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to speak or read for a person to transcribe or for a machine to record

  6. 2 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 in a sentence

  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 and Etymology of dictate

Latin dictatus, past participle of dictare to assert, dictate, frequentative of dicere to say — more at diction


First Known Use: 1581


2

dictate

play
noun dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

Simple Definition of dictate

  • : an order or direction given with authority

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dictate

  1. 1 a :  an authoritative rule, prescription, or injunction b :  a ruling principle <according to the dictates of your conscience>

  2. 2 :  a command by one in authority

Examples of dictate in a sentence

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



1594

First Known Use of dictate

1594



DICTATE Defined for Kids

1

dictate

play
verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

Definition of dictate for Students

dictated

dictating

  1. 1 :  to speak or read for someone else to write down or for a machine to record <dictate a letter>

  2. 2 :  to say or state with authority :  order <You can't dictate what I can do.>

  3. 3 :  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.


2

dictate

play
noun dic·tate

Definition of dictate for Students

  1. 1 :  an order or direction given with authority :  command

  2. 2 :  a guiding rule or principle <She ignores the dictates of fashion.>





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