From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdictatedic‧tate1 /dɪkˈteɪt $ ˈdɪkteɪt/ ●○○ verb 1 [intransitive, transitive]BBOSAY to say words for someone else to write downdictate a letter/memo etc to somebody She’s dictating a letter to her secretary right now.2 [intransitive, transitive]TELL/ORDER somebody TO DO something to tell someone exactly what they must do or how they must behavedictate to The media cannot be allowed to dictate to the government.dictate who/what/how etc Can they dictate how the money will be spent? Federal funds have to be used as dictated by Washington.dictate that Islamic custom dictates that women should be fully covered. The US government attempted to dictate the terms of the agreement.3 [transitive]CONTROL to control or influence something syn determinedictate what/how etc Funds dictate what we can do.dictate that The laws of physics dictate that what goes up must come down. The massive publicity dictated a response from the city government.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 3: to control or influence somethingnounscommon sense dictates somethingCommon sense dictates that you should avoid too much sun.circumstances dictate somethingCircumstances dictated that I had to wait nearly two years.custom/tradition dictates somethingOn the island, custom still dictates the roles of men and women.fashion dictates somethingFashion has been dictating that women should wear black for years now.logic dictates somethingLogic dictates that this must be the right answer.laws/rules dictate somethingFederal laws dictate how land can be used.→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdictate• Milton had two or was it three daughters and they wrote down his poems as he dictated.• The contracts are dictated by the HMOs, and that makes for some very ragged edges.• Built between 1283 and 1289, the castle's shape is dictated by the very rock on which it stands.• Your parents have no right to dictate how you should spend your money.• All or some of the labels can be dictated or, for beginning students, the labels may simply be copied.• Fashion designers no longer dictate skirt lengths.• Previously, the Constitution dictated that the President was head of the army.• The need to survive, which always dictates the moral standards of society, once more underlined the role of the women.• She refused to be dictated to by some stupid official in Washington.• At least once a week we were tested on our ability to copy correctly a literary passage dictated to us.• The amount of funds we receive dictates what we can do.dictate a letter/memo etc to somebody• The pastor called in his secretary and dictated a letter to Scott saying he and the elders would meet him.• The moment Gerald got back to Hull he dictated a letter to the Foreign Office.dictate the terms• The state will always dictate the terms of the relationship.dictate that• Best practice in the conservation studios dictates that all repairs should be clearly visible.• Human beings are going to resist cultural dictates that are too inconsistent with their innate desires.• Sophisticated graphics and multimedia software for games and educational programs dictate that consumer machines have plenty of muscle.• I do the staff work because my boss dictates that I do it.• The country dictated that Operation Cuckoo be abandoned.• Previously, the Constitution dictated that the President was head of the army.• Then he dictated that thousands more relocate there.• At some point the size of the enterprise may dictate that you think commercially rather than in terms of self-reliance.