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English definition of “dictate”

dictate

verb uk   /dɪkˈteɪt/ us    /ˈdɪk.teɪt/

dictate verb (GIVE ORDERS)

C1 [I or T] to give orders, or tell someone exactly what they must do, with total authority: The UN will dictate the terms of troop withdrawal from the region. [+ question word] He disagrees with the government dictating what children are taught in schools. [+ that] The tennis club rules dictate that suitable footwear must be worn on the courts. [T] to influence something or make it necessary: The party's change of policy has been dictated by its need to win back the support of voters. [+ that] I wanted to take a year off, but my financial situation dictated that I got a job.

dictate verb (SPEAK)

[I or T] to speak something aloud for a person or machine to record the words said, so that they can be written down: I dictated my order over the phone. She spent the morning dictating letters to her secretary.
Phrasal verbs

dictate

noun [C usually plural] uk   /ˈdɪk.teɪt/ formal us  
an order that should be obeyed, often one that you give to yourself: the dictates of conscience/common sense
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(Definition of dictate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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