Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.
Related to dictated: Dictated but not read


 (dĭk′tāt′, dĭk-tāt′)
v. dic·tat·ed, dic·tat·ing, dic·tates
1. To say or read aloud to be recorded or written by another: dictate a letter.
a. To prescribe with authority; impose: dictated the rules of the game.
b. To control or command: "Foreign leaders were ... dictated by their own circumstances, bound by the universal imperatives of politics" (Doris Kearns Goodwin).
1. To say or read aloud material to be recorded or written by another: dictated for an hour before leaving for the day.
2. To issue orders or commands.
n. (dĭk′tāt′)
1. A directive; a command.
a. An underlying constraint: "These men make numerous decisions affecting how they organize their lives according to the dictates of time and place" (William Marsiglio).
b. A guiding principle: followed the dictates of my conscience.

[Latin dictāre, dictāt-, frequentative of dīcere, to say; see deik- in Indo-European roots.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.dictated - determined or decided upon as by an authority; "date and place are already determined"; "the dictated terms of surrender"; "the time set for the launching"
settled - established or decided beyond dispute or doubt; "with details of the wedding settled she could now sleep at night"
References in classic literature ?
It would seem that the domestics had been previously instructed; for, instead of penetrating the thicket, they followed the route of the column; a measure which Heyward stated had been dictated by the sagacity of their guide, in order to diminish the marks of their trail, if, haply, the Canadian savages should be lurking so far in advance of their army.
As far as we know," he dictated, "he was satisfactory.
In Chicago the city government was simply one of its branch offices; it stole billions of gallons of city water openly, it dictated to the courts the sentences of disorderly strikers, it forbade the mayor to enforce the building laws against it.
Poor Miss Bates may very likely have committed her niece and hurried her into a greater appearance of intimacy than her own good sense would have dictated, in spite of the very natural wish of a little change.
This was the letter Martha dictated to her: "My Dear Dickon:
Lecount dictated the first paragraph from the Draft, as follows:
All the beauty that has ever been in the world has broken the laws of all previous beauty, and unwillingly dictated laws to the beauty that succeeded it,--laws which that beauty has no less spiritedly broken, to prove in turn dictator to its successor.
With the same policy which had dictated the conduct of their brethren in the Holy Land, the Templars and Hospitallers in England and Normandy attached themselves to the faction of Prince John, having little reason to desire the return of Richard to England, or the succession of Arthur, his legitimate heir.
I am ready to swear that I never dictated a word to you in my life.
He then commanded six-and-thirty of the lads, to read the several lines softly, as they appeared upon the frame; and where they found three or four words together that might make part of a sentence, they dictated to the four remaining boys, who were scribes.
We agreed also that it would be advisable to answer the Moorish lady's letter, and the renegade without a moment's delay took down the words I dictated to him, which were exactly what I shall tell you, for nothing of importance that took place in this affair has escaped my memory, or ever will while life lasts.
It may be inconvenient for Georgia, or the States forming our western or northeastern borders, to send their representatives to the seat of government; but they would find it more so to struggle alone against an invading enemy, or even to support alone the whole expense of those precautions which may be dictated by the neighborhood of continual danger.