Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To say or read aloud to be recorded or written by another.
  • intransitive verb To prescribe with authority; impose.
  • intransitive verb To control or command.
  • intransitive verb To say or read aloud material to be recorded or written by another.
  • intransitive verb To issue orders or commands.
  • noun A directive; a command.
  • noun A guiding principle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To declare or prescribe with authority; direct or command positively, as being right, necessary, or inevitable: as, conscience dictates truthfulness and fair dealing; to dictate a course of conduct, or terms of surrender.
  • To be the determining cause or motive of; fix or decide positively or unavoidably: as, necessity dictated the abandonment of the ship; his conduct is dictated by false pride.
  • To express orally for another to write down; give utterance or form to, as something to be written: as, to dictate a letter to a clerk.
  • Synonyms To command, prescribe, enjoin, require.
  • To practise dictation; act or speak dictatorially; exercise controlling or arbitrary authority; assume a dictatorial, dogmatic, or commanding attitude.
  • noun A positive order or command; an authoritative or controlling direction.
  • noun An authoritative rule, maxim, or precept; a guiding principle: as, the dictates of conscience or of reason.
  • noun Dictation.
  • noun That which is dictated; a dictated utterance.
  • noun Synonyms and Injunction, admonition.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To speak as a superior; to command; to impose conditions (on).
  • intransitive verb To compose literary works; to tell what shall be written or said by another.
  • transitive verb To tell or utter so that another may write down; to inspire; to compose.
  • transitive verb To say; to utter; to communicate authoritatively; to deliver (a command) to a subordinate; to declare with authority; to impose
  • noun A statement delivered with authority; an order; a command; an authoritative rule, principle, or maxim; a prescription

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An order or command.
  • verb To order, command, control.
  • verb To speak in order for someone to write down the words.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an authoritative rule
  • noun a guiding principle
  • verb say out loud for the purpose of recording
  • verb rule as a dictator
  • verb issue commands or orders for

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin dictāre, dictāt-, frequentative of dīcere, to say; see deik- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin dictātus, perfect passive participle of dictō ("pronounce or declare repeatedly; dictate"), frequentative of dīcō ("say, speak").

Examples

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