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

  • noun The act or process of dictating material to another for transcription.
  • noun The material so dictated.
  • noun An authoritative command or order.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act or practice of dictating, directing, or prescribing: as, he wrote the passage at the teacher's dictation.
  • noun Authoritative command or control; positive or arbitrary prescription, direction, or order: as, his dictation brought affairs into great confusion.
  • noun Synonyms Injunction, prescription, direction.

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

  • noun The act of dictating; the act or practice of prescribing; also that which is dictated.
  • noun The speaking to, or the giving orders to, in an overbearing manner; authoritative utterance.

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

  • noun uncountable dictating, the process of speaking for someone else to write down the words
  • noun countable an activity in school where the teacher reads a passage aloud and the students write it down
  • noun countable the act of ordering or commanding
  • noun uncountable orders given in an overbearing manner

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

  • noun speech intended for reproduction in writing
  • noun an authoritative direction or instruction to do something
  • noun matter that has been dictated and transcribed; a dictated passage


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • I think computerized dictation is a wonderful advance, one that will benefit one of my children who has a vision impairment as well as all those people who didn't learn typing as I did.

    The right tool 2008

  • I need to make friends with the story gods so I can become more of a crafter than someone who takes dictation from the great beyond.

    Blog Swap With Dana Marton 2007

  • I daresay a quarter of an hour's practice two or three times a day for a week or so will deliver me from the absurd necessity of having to call in the assistance of the neighbourhood to communicate my bits of news to you; not to say that dictation is only a degree less awkward than left-handed penmanship, having never tried it before in my life.

    New Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle 1893

  • The sentence will be effective for the general reader, and useful as an exercise in dictation at female seminaries.

    London: Saturday, May 23, 1864 1864

  • Statesmanship today calls for a very sober and sane appraisal of the whole situation and one great factor which to my mind is going to be the determining factor in the whole situation is that England today is dealing with a new India, an India that might have been guilty of her sins of omission and commission in the past, and so have been many other countries, but India feels a sense of frustration and humiliation to be the only country, a country of 350 million people today, in the 20th century, taking dictation from a foreign power, and that sentiment is so profound and so wide-spread that even those people who do not take an active part in politics cherish that feeling uppermost in their hearts.

    India's Fight For Freedom 1938

  • I was wearing a self-made T-shirt, with the remark in the front as this quote: ‘One-party dictation is a disaster - by Xinhua Daily '.

    Global Voices in English » China: A turmoil triggered by T-shirt 2009

  • Mr. Murrow’s warning back then definitely applies to today’s world of non-news, but takes dictation from the administration and it’s lackeys and then produces it to us as ‘news’.

    Think Progress » VIDEO: Zahn Interviews McGovern, Defends Rumsfeld 2006

  • She said my dictation was a disgrace to the school, and I'd got to stop in during the interval this morning and write out all the wrong words a dozen times each.

    For the Sake of the School Angela Brazil 1907

  • But the spirit within him was aroused at the idea of dictation, and he had been prompted to contradict the old woman's accusation against his intended bride, by the very fact that they were made by her.

    The American Senator Anthony Trollope 1848

  • Spicer presents his poetic practice as an act of 'dictation' that engages the dead in the economy of the living.

    Travis Nichols: Let Us Now Praise Undead Poets 2010


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  • "she gave me some dictation...(see administration)...

    August 5, 2008

  • ...(see administration.) Step into my office, baby."

    September 1, 2010