Meaning of “dictate” in the English Dictionary

"dictate" in English

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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.

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Phrasal verb(s)

dictatenoun [ C usually plural ]

uk /ˈdɪk.teɪt/ us /ˈdɪk.teɪt/ formal

an order that should be obeyed, often one that you give to yourself:

the dictates of conscience/common sense

(Definition of “dictate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dictate" in American English

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us /ˈdɪk·teɪt, dɪkˈteɪt/

dictate verb (GIVE ORDERS)

[ T ] to give orders, or state something with total authority:

[ + question word ] Tennis club rules dictate what kind of footwear may be worn on the courts.

[ T ] To dictate also means to make necessary:

The characteristics of the land dictate much of what can be built.

dictate verb (SPEAK)

[ I/T ] to say something aloud for another person or for a machine to record, so that your words can be prepared in writing for use in business or a legal case:

[ T ] She spent the morning dictating letters.

(Definition of “dictate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"dictate" in Business English

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uk /dɪkˈteɪt/ us

[ I or T ] WORKPLACE to speak something aloud for a person or machine to record, so that what is said can be written down:

dictate a letter/memo/reply to sb I dictated a memo to my assistant, to be sent to all staff.

[ T ] to decide and say what will happen, usually in a forceful way:

dictate terms/conditions At that time the trade unions were allowed to dictate terms, and nothing happened without their agreement.
dictate how/when/what, etc. The government shouldn't dictate how we run our businesses.

[ T ] to influence something or make it necessary:

The rise in fuel prices was dictated by the market.

(Definition of “dictate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)