English

Definition of dictate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    dictate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they dictate
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪt//
     
    he / she / it dictates
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪts//
     
    past simple dictated
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪtɪd//
     
    past participle dictated
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form dictating
    BrE BrE//dɪkˈteɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪkteɪtɪŋ//
     
    Writing and publishing
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] dictate (something) (to somebody) to say words for somebody else to write down He dictated a letter to his secretary. See related entries: Writing and publishing
  2. 2[transitive] to tell somebody what to do, especially in an annoying way dictate something (to somebody) They are in no position to dictate terms (= tell other people what to do). dictate how, what, etc…/that… What right do they have to dictate how we live our lives?
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] to control or influence how something happens synonym determine dictate (something) When we take our vacations is very much dictated by Greg's work schedule. dictate where, what, etc… It's generally your job that dictates where you live now. dictate that… The social conventions of the day dictated that she should remain at home with her parents.
  4. Word Origin late 16th cent. (in sense (1)): from Latin dictat- ‘dictated’, from the verb dictare.Extra examples I refuse to be dictated to. It was only the king or queen who could dictate policy. It’s generally your job that dictates where you live now. OK, you write, I’ll dictate. She dictated a letter to her secretary. She had to remain indoors for 30 days before the wedding, as custom dictates. They are in no position to dictate terms. This is clearly the best choice, unless financial considerations dictate otherwise. This political stance had been dictated by the Prime Minister. What followed dictated the course of his life. When we take our vacations is very much dictated by Greg’s work schedule. Phrasal Verbsdictate to somebody
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: dictate

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