- To dictate is defined as to command or order something to be done or to say words so they can be taped or written down.
- An example of dictate is when you order someone to complete tasks on a list.
- An example of dictate is when you tell your secretary what to write in a letter for you.
- to speak or read (something) aloud for someone else to write down
- to prescribe or command forcefully
- to impose or give (orders) with or as with authority
- to give (orders or instructions) arbitrarily
Origin: ; from Classical Latin dictatus, past participle of dictare, frequentative of dicere, to speak: see diction
- an authoritative command
- a guiding principle or requirement: the dictates of conscience
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb dic·tat·ed, dic·tat·ing, dic·tates verb, transitive
- To say or read aloud to be recorded or written by another: dictate a letter.
- a. To prescribe with authority; impose: dictated the rules of the game.b. To control or command: “Foreign leaders were . . . dictated by their own circumstances, bound by the universal imperatives of politics” (Doris Kearns Goodwin).
- To say or read aloud material to be recorded or written by another: dictated for an hour before leaving for the day.
- To issue orders or commands.
- A directive; a command.
- A guiding principle: followed the dictates of my conscience.
Origin: Latin dictāre, dictāt-, frequentative of dīcere, to say; see deik- in Indo-European roots.