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Meaning of dictate

dic•tate

Pronunciation: (v.dik'tāt, dik-tāt'n.dik'tāt), [key]
— v., n. -tat•ed, -tat•ing,
—v.t.
  1. to say or read (something) aloud for another person to transcribe or for a machine to record: to dictate some letters to a secretary.
  2. to prescribe or lay down authoritatively or peremptorily; command unconditionally: to dictate peace terms to a conquered enemy.
—v.i.
  1. to say or read aloud something to be written down by a person or recorded by a machine.
  2. to give orders.
—n.
  1. an authoritative order or command.
  2. a guiding or governing principle, requirement, etc.: to follow the dictates of one's conscience.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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