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used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
Hitler dictated that...
Definition issue commands or orders
  • The college has rules that dictate what constitutes consent in sexual activity.
dictate = state authoritatively (command)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • By then Hitler was effectively a dictator even though that wasn't his title.
  • By the time I was in high school, my parents seldom dictated to me, but they were very persuasive.
  • dictated = issued commands or orders
  • But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; Providence takes its cue from men.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • dictated = commanded
  • It's just that men like Father don't like to be dictated to.
    Elizabeth George Speare  --  The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • dictated = commanded
  • Prisoners don't usually dictate their own conditions.
    Madeline Miller  --  Circe
  • dictate = control or command
  • I have always acted in accordance with the dictates of my conscience.
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • dictates = commands
  • He was used to dictating to grown men.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
  • dictating = issuing commands
  • And once we reach the city, my stylist will dictate my look for the opening ceremonies tonight anyway.
    Suzanne Collins  --  The Hunger Games
  • dictate = control or command
  • I was subject to the dictates of my mind, which gave me the maneuverability of a strait jacket.
    John Knowles  --  A Separate Peace
dictates = commands

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
2  —as in:
reason dictates
Definition determine or control what will happen
  • Reason dictates that we change the policy.
dictates = determines (controls what will happen)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Public outrage dictates that the law be changed.
  • dictates = determines (controls what will happen)
  • These feelings dictated my answer to my father.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • dictated = determined or controlled
  • As long as he had strength in him, his duty dictated that he return to the other world and search for the princess.
    Frank Beddor  --  The Looking Glass Wars
  • dictated = determined or required
  • I cannot be dictated to by a watch.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • dictated = controlled
  • Portions of it are constantly changing hands, and it is the chance of seizing this or that fragment by a sudden stroke of treachery that dictates the endless changes of alignment.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • dictates = determines or controls
  • Whether they are destroyed individually or in groups, or however it is done, with mass bombing, poisonous smoke, poisons, drowning, decapitation, or what, dispose of them as the situation dictates ....
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • dictates = determines or controls
  • Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
    Thomas Jefferson et al.  --  The Declaration of Independence
dictate = require

3  —as in:
dictate a letter
Definition say out loud for the purpose of recording
  • She dictated a letter to her secretary.
dictated = said out loud for the purpose of recording

(in this case, the implication is that the secretary is writing down what is said and will type it up later as a letter to send)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She dictated a text message to her phone.
  • dictated = said out loud for the purpose of recording
  • He is on record now, and is really dictating to Cheever, who writes.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • dictating = talking so that someone else can write what is said
  • Atticus was speaking easily, with the kind of detachment he used when he dictated a letter.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • dictated = said out loud for the purpose of recording
  • Finally, a letter arrived, composed by Harvey and dictated to a nurse from his hospital bed.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • dictated = said out loud and written by another
  • Apart from very short notes, it was usual to dictate everything into the speak-write which was of course impossible for his present purpose.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • dictate = say out loud for the purpose of recording
  • I owe this progress report to Burt who had the bright idea that I could dictate this on a transistor tape recorder and have a public stenographer in Chicago type it up.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • dictate = talking aloud for the purpose of recording
  • Vera hesitated a minute, then she said: "You've admitted, you know, that you don't hold human life particularly sacred, but all the same I can't see you as-as the man who dictated that gramophone record."
    Agatha Christie  --  And Then There Were None
  • dictated = said out loud for the purpose of recording
  • She had a letter from him herself, a few hurried happy lines, written as the ship came up Channel, and sent into Portsmouth with the first boat that left the Antwerp at anchor in Spithead; and when Crawford walked up with the newspaper in his hand, which he had hoped would bring the first tidings, he found her trembling with joy over this letter, and listening with a glowing, grateful countenance to the kind invitation which her uncle was most collectedly dictating in reply.
    Jane Austen  --  Mansfield Park
  • dictating = instructing what should be said
  • Peter dictated as follows:
    C.S. Lewis  --  Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
dictated = said out loud for the purpose of recording

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
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