1

dictate

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verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt, dik-ˈ\

Definition of dictate

dictated

;

dictating

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to utter words to be transcribed :  to give dictation dictate for the stenographer

  3. 2 :  to speak or act domineeringly :  prescribe resents being dictated to

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

  6. 2a :  to issue as an orderb :  to impose, pronounce, or specify authoritatively dictate the terms of surrender … the league will dictate policy for all teams … — Alex Yannisc :  to require or determine necessarily injuries dictated the choice of players The weather will dictate how long we stay.

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: 1577


2

dictate

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noun dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

Definition of dictate

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

  2. 2 :  a command by one in authority papal dictates

Examples of dictate in a Sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of dictate

see 1dictate


First Known Use: 1582



DICTATE Defined for English Language Learners

1

dictate

play
verb dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt, dik-ˈ\

Definition of dictate for English Language Learners

  • : 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

2

dictate

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noun dic·tate \ˈdik-ˌtāt\

Definition of dictate for English Language Learners

  • : an order or direction given with authority

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


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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