dic·​ta·​tion dik-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce dictation (audio)
: arbitrary command
: the act or manner of uttering words to be transcribed
: material that is dictated or transcribed
: the performing of music to be reproduced by a student
: music so reproduced

Example Sentences

He used a tape recorder for dictation.
Recent Examples on the Web As mentioned, the Pixel also can do real-time translation or voice dictation without needing access to the internet. Ben Sin, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2023 The assistant’s seat features a beautiful fold-down writing desk for taking notes, and a 1990s-era dictation machine. WSJ, 24 Dec. 2022 Documents such as this one instantly catch up to my typing and dictation with no latency. Scott Kramer, Forbes, 18 Dec. 2022 Fang echoed Stucker’s regal, velvety dictation with silvery guile. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Nov. 2022 That's exactly where Rebble picked up, providing web services to Pebble watches, including (for paying subscribers) voice dictation. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 28 Oct. 2022 On-device voice dictation, with no Internet connection required and no time limit. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 26 Oct. 2022 Logitech manages to fit room for keys dedicated to launching emojis, dictation, PC search, and backlight effects, but for number-crunchers and the like, the MX Mechanical Mini for Mac doesn't have enough keys. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 28 Sep. 2022 The upshot is a channelling of sheer, visionary imagination, as if the artist were taking dictation from an unseen demiurge. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dictation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


borrowed from Late Latin dictātiōn-, dictātiō "uttering of material to be transcribed, command" (Latin, "dictated draft"), from Latin dictāre "to say repeatedly, say aloud words to be transcribed by another, issue as an order" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at dictate entry 1

First Known Use

1624, in the meaning defined at sense 2a(2)

Time Traveler
The first known use of dictation was in 1624

Dictionary Entries Near dictation

Cite this Entry

“Dictation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictation. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


dic·​ta·​tion dik-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce dictation (audio)
: the act or process of giving commands
: the dictating of words
write from dictation
: something that is dictated or is taken down from dictation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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