dictate


dictate
dictate vb Dictate, prescribe, ordain, decree, impose mean to lay down expressly something to be followed, observed, obeyed, or accepted.
Dictate implies an authoritative direction by or as if by the spoken word which serves in governing or guiding one's course of action
{

they dictated the conditions of peace— Gibbon

}
{

a man and woman who love èach other and their children ought to be able to act spontaneously as the heart dictatesRussell

}
{

all the other papers had traditions; their past principles dictated their future policy— Rose Macaulay

}
Prescribe (see also PRESCRIBE) implies a formulated rule, law, or order; it suggests an authoritative pronouncement which is clear, definite, and cannot be gainsaid
{

my teachers should have prescribed to me, 1st, sincerity; 2d, sincerity; 3d, sincerity— Thoreau

}
{

Establishments maintained by general taxation and filled with children whose presence is prescribed by law— Grandgent

}
Ordain implies institution, establishment, or enactment by a supreme or unquestioned authority or power; usually it suggests an inalterable settlement of a problem or question
{

we still accept, in theory at all events, the Mosaic conception of morality as a code of rigid and inflexible rules, arbitrarily ordained, and to be blindly obeyed— Ellis

}
{

a blessed custom of my infancy ordained that every living room should be dominated by a good-sized center table— Repplier

}
{

nature inexorably ordains that the human race shall perish of famine if it stops working— Shaw

}
Decree implies a decision made and formally pronounced by absolute authority or by a power whose edicts are received with the same attention. It is used particularly of ecclesiastical, civil, or judicial power, whether absolute or limited in its scope, or more broadly of anything whose authoritative pronouncements are blindly obeyed
{

the king decreed that all foreigners should be excluded from the state

}
{

fashion decrees that skirts be shorter and jackets somewhat longer than last year

}
{

if statues were decreed in Britain, as in ancient Greece and Rome, to public benefactors— Dickens

}
{

the old man was used to the order of his monastery, and though he slept on the ground, as the Rule decrees, preferred a decency in these things— Kipling

}
Impose implies a sub-jecting to what must be borne, endured, or submitted to. It may suggest infliction by a paramount authority
{

each time I attempted to speak he imposed silence— Hudson

}
{

the ever more stringent regulations we found it necessary to imposeHeiser

}
More often it suggests limitations intended to make for order, beauty, or efficiency
{

patience and industry . . . could only be secured ... by the enforcement of good habits imposed by external authority— Russell

}
{

when the language, the stresses, the very structure of the sentences are imposed upon the writer by the special mood of the piece— Cather

}
Analogous words: direct, control, manage (see CONDUCT): *guide, lead: *govern, rule: tell, utter, *say
dictate n behest, bidding, injunction, *command, order, mandate
Analogous words: *law, rule, precept, canon, ordinance, statute, regulation

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
, , , , , , , , , , , / (so that another may repeat or write), , ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dictate — Dic tate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dictated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Dictating}.] [L. dictatus, p. p. of dictare, freq. of dicere to say. See {Diction}, and cf. {Dight}.] 1. To tell or utter so that another may write down; to inspire; to compose; as, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dictate — Dic tate, v. i. 1. To speak as a superior; to command; to impose conditions (on). [1913 Webster] Who presumed to dictate to the sovereign. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. To compose literary works; to tell what shall be written or said by another.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dictate — [n] command; rule behest, bidding, code, decree, dictum, direction, edict, fiat, injunction, law, mandate, order, ordinance, precept, principle, requirement, statute, ultimatum, word; concepts 274,318,688 Ant. request dictate [v1] command; give… …   New thesaurus

  • dictate to — [phrasal verb] dictate to (someone) : to give orders to (someone) usually used as (be) dictated to I resent being dictated to by someone with half my experience. • • • Main Entry: ↑dictate …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dictate — Dic tate, n. [L. dictatum. See {Dictate}, v. t.] A statement delivered with authority; an order; a command; an authoritative rule, principle, or maxim; a prescription; as, listen to the dictates of your conscience; the dictates of the gospel.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dictate — I noun act, authoritative suggestion, behest, charge, command, commandment, commission, decree, demand, direction, edict, enactment, fiat, imperative, imperious direction, injunction, instruction, judgment, law, mandate, order, ordinance,… …   Law dictionary

  • dictate — is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable as a noun (as in the dictates of conscience) and with the stress on the second syllable as a verb (as in dictate a letter) …   Modern English usage

  • Dictate — can refer to: Dictation (disambiguation) Dictator Edict This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point direc …   Wikipedia

  • dictate — ► VERB 1) state or order authoritatively. 2) say or read aloud (words to be typed or written down). 3) control or determine. ► NOUN ▪ an order or principle that must be obeyed. DERIVATIVES dictation noun …   English terms dictionary

  • dictate — [dik′tāt΄; ] also, for v. [ dik tāt′] vt., vi. dictated, dictating [< L dictatus, pp. of dictare, freq. of dicere, to speak: see DICTION] 1. to speak or read (something) aloud for someone else to write down 2. to prescribe or command… …   English World dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.