Definitions for dictateˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; ˈdɪk teɪt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word dictate

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

dic•tateˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; ˈdɪk teɪt(v.; n.)-tat•ed, -tat•ing

  1. (v.t.)to say or read aloud for a person to transcribe or for a machine to record.

  2. to prescribe authoritatively; command unconditionally:

    to dictate peace terms to the enemy.

  3. (v.i.)to say or read aloud for transcription.

  4. to give orders.

  5. (n.)an authoritative order or command.

  6. a guiding principle:

    the dictates of conscience.

Origin of dictate:

1585–95; < L dictātus, ptp. of dictāre to say repeatedly

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dictate(noun)

    an authoritative rule

  2. dictate(verb)

    a guiding principle

    "the dictates of reason"

  3. order, prescribe, dictate(verb)

    issue commands or orders for

  4. dictate(verb)

    say out loud for the purpose of recording

    "He dictated a report to his secretary"

  5. dictate(verb)

    rule as a dictator

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. dictate(verb)ˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; n. ˈdɪk teɪt

    to control or determine what will happen

    A salesman's pay is dictated by how much he sells.

  2. dictateˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; n. ˈdɪk teɪt

    to tell sb what to do

    We can't dictate what other countries do.

  3. dictateˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; n. ˈdɪk teɪt

    to speak while sb writes down what you say

    to dictate a letter to sb


  1. dictate(Noun)

    An order or command.

    I must obey the dictates of my conscience.

  2. dictate(Verb)

    To order, command, control.

  3. dictate(Verb)

    To speak in order for someone to write down the words.

  4. Origin: From dictatus, perfect passive participle of dicto, frequentative of dico.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dictate(verb)

    to tell or utter so that another may write down; to inspire; to compose; as, to dictate a letter to an amanuensis

  2. Dictate(verb)

    to say; to utter; to communicate authoritatively; to deliver (a command) to a subordinate; to declare with authority; to impose; as, to dictate the terms of a treaty; a general dictates orders to his troops

  3. Dictate(verb)

    to speak as a superior; to command; to impose conditions (on)

  4. Dictate(verb)

    to compose literary works; to tell what shall be written or said by another

  5. Dictate(verb)

    a statement delivered with authority; an order; a command; an authoritative rule, principle, or maxim; a prescription; as, listen to the dictates of your conscience; the dictates of the gospel

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'dictate' in Verbs Frequency: #951

Translations for dictate

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


to say or read out (something) for someone else to write down

He always dictates his letters (to his secretary).

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