dic·​ta·​tion | \ dik-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce dictation (audio) \

Definition of dictation

b : arbitrary command
2a(1) : the act or manner of uttering words to be transcribed
(2) : material that is dictated or transcribed
b(1) : the performing of music to be reproduced by a student
(2) : music so reproduced

Examples of dictation in a Sentence

He used a tape recorder for dictation.
Recent Examples on the Web Competitions featured students reciting French poetry, dictation comprehension and writing contests. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Event promotes culture from French-speaking nations," 8 Feb. 2020 The city seeks candidates with a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration or a related field; five years’ experience, and one year of experience taking and transcribing dictation for minutes and proceedings. David Ibata, ajc, "Sandy Springs city clerk takes new job in Woodstock," 22 Jan. 2020 Before she would be allowed to go out and play, Karin would have to take dictation from her mother and then read it back to her perfectly. Michelle Matthews | Mmatthews@al.com, al, "Here’s what Karin Korb wants you to know about people with disabilities," 7 Jan. 2020 This week’s column is brought to you courtesy of Apple dictation. Beth Spotswood, SFChronicle.com, "This week’s column is brought to you courtesy of Apple dictation.," 26 Nov. 2019 Apple is resuming the use of humans to review Siri commands and dictation with the latest iPhone software update. Mae Anderson, The Denver Post, "Apple resumes human reviews of Siri audio with iPhone update," 29 Oct. 2019 However, Apple’s terms say that if both Siri and dictation are disabled, the company will delete user data and recent voice recordings. Hannah Denham, Washington Post, "‘Alexa, delete what I just said’: How to manage voice recordings on your smart devices," 12 Aug. 2019 The phone will stop interpreting your voice as dictation at that moment. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "An iOS 13 Preview: The 7 Top Features Coming to Your iPhone," 25 June 2019 Apple says the quality of its dictation has improved as a result of these new accessibility efforts. Chris Welch, The Verge, "macOS Catalina first look: goodbye iTunes, hello iPad apps on Mac," 24 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of dictation

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

History and Etymology for dictation

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

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Time Traveler for dictation

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The first known use of dictation was in 1624

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Statistics for dictation

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dictation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dictation. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for dictation


How to pronounce dictation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dictation

: the act of speaking words that someone writes down or that a machine records : the act of dictating words


dic·​ta·​tion | \ dik-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce dictation (audio) \

Kids Definition of dictation

: the act of speaking words for someone else to write down or for a machine to record the words spoken

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