dictate definition, meaning - what is dictate in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “dictate”

See all translations

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 rules dictate that only running shoes must be worn on the track. [T] to influence something or make it necessary: The party's change of policy has been dictated by its need to win back younger voters. [+ that] I wanted to take a year off, but my financial situation dictated that I got a job.
More examples

dictate verb (SPEAK)

[I or T] to speak something aloud for a person or machine to record what is said, so that it 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   us   /ˈdɪk.teɪt/ formal
an order that should be obeyed, often one that you give to yourself: the dictates of conscience/common sense
Compare
(Definition of dictate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of dictate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “dictate” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

a game in hand

if a sports team has a game in hand over other teams in a competition, it still has another game to play in which it can gain points

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More