What does dictate mean?

Definitions for dictate
ˈdɪk teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt; ˈdɪk teɪtdic·tate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word dictate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dictatenoun

    an authoritative rule

  2. dictateverb

    a guiding principle

    "the dictates of reason"

  3. order, prescribe, dictateverb

    issue commands or orders for

  4. dictateverb

    say out loud for the purpose of recording

    "He dictated a report to his secretary"

  5. dictateverb

    rule as a dictator


  1. dictatenoun

    An order or command.

    I must obey the dictates of my conscience.

  2. dictateverb

    To order, command, control.

  3. dictateverb

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

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

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Dictatenoun

    Rule or maxim delivered with authority; prescription; prescript.

    Etymology: dictatum, Latin.

    Others cast about for new discoveries, and to seek in their own thoughts for those right helps of art which will scarce be found, I fear, by those who servilely confine themselves to the dictates of others. John Locke.

    I credit what the Grecian dictates say,
    And Samian sounds o’er Scota’s hills convey. Matthew Prior.

    Then let this dictate of my love prevail;
    Instant, to foreign realms prepare to sail,
    To learn your father’s fortunes. Alexander Pope, Odyssey, b. i.

  2. To DICTATEverb

    To deliver to another with authority; to declare with confidence.

    Etymology: dicto, Latin.

    The spoils of elephants the roofs inlay,
    And studded amber darts a golden ray;
    Such, and not nobler, in the realms above,
    My wonder dictates is the dome of Jove. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Whatsoever is dictated to us by God himself, or by men who are divinely inspired, must be believed with full assurance. Isaac Watts, Logick.


  1. dictate

    Dictate is a verb that means to state or order authoritatively, give instructions, or determine a particular course of action. It can also refer to the action of saying words aloud to be typed, written down, or recorded.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Dictateverb

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

  2. Dictateverb

    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. Dictateverb

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

  4. Dictateverb

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

  5. Dictateverb

    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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Dictate

    dik′tāt, v.t. to tell another what to say or write: to communicate with authority: to point out: to command—(arch. Dict).—n. an order, rule, or direction: impulse.—ns. Dictā′tion, act, art, or practice of dictating: overbearing command; Dictā′tor, one invested for a time with absolute authority—originally an extraordinary Roman magistrate:—fem. Dictā′tress, Dictātrix.—adj. Dictatō′rial, like a dictator: absolute: authoritative.—adv. Dictatō′rially.—ns. Dictā′torship, Dic′tature.—adj. Dic′tatory. [L. dictāre, -ātumdicĕre, to say.]

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

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

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of dictate in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of dictate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of dictate in a Sentence

  1. J. G. Ballard:

    Science and technology multiply around us. To an increasing extent they dictate the languages in which we speak and think. Either we use those languages, or we remain mute.

  2. Mitch McConnell:

    We need to see growth and that will dictate what we do and when we do it.

  3. Mark Dubowitz:

    What happened with the sailors, to me, is an indication that the Revolutionary Guards are sending a message to Obama and to Rouhani that they are in charge, the deal may have been negotiated with Rouhani and Zarif, but it will be the Revolutionary Guards who will dictate the terms and dictate the implementation.

  4. Ansel Adams:

    No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.

  5. Patrick Hickey:

    We have been working away behind the scenes to solve these problems. We had a meeting with HRW International. We have done everything we can to find answers to these questions, there's one thing we cannot do and that is to dictate to a sovereign state how to run its affairs.

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Translations for dictate

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"dictate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/dictate>.

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