AskDefine | Define dictate

Dictionary Definition



1 an authoritative rule
2 a guiding principle; "the dictates of reason"


1 issue commands or orders for [syn: order, prescribe]
2 say out loud for the purpose of recording; "He dictated a report to his secretary"
3 rule as a dictator

User Contributed Dictionary




(US) IPA: /ˈdɪkˌteɪt/


  1. An order or command.
    I must obey the dictates of my conscience.


an order or command
  • German: Diktat, Gebot
  • Portuguese: ordem, comando


  1. To order, command, control.
    • 2001, Sydney I. Landau, Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography, Cambridge University Press (ISBN 0-521-78512-X), page 409,
      Trademark Owners will nevertheless try to dictate how their marks are to be represented, but dictionary publishers with spine can resist such pressure.
  2. To speak in order for someone to write down the words.
    She is dictating a letter to a stenographer.
    The French teacher dictated a passage from Victor Hugo.

Derived terms


to order, command, control
  • Finnish: sanella
  • German: diktieren, bestimmen, vorschreiben
  • Hebrew: להכתיב (lehakhtyv)
  • Portuguese: ordenar, comandar, controlar
to speak in order for someone to write down the words

Extensive Definition

Dictate can refer to: <!-- Long comment to avoid being listed on short pages To give instuctions

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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