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dictate to (one)

1. To speak to one who will reproduce the message in a written document. I just finished dictating that memo to my secretary, and she is typing it up right now.
2. To exert control over someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dictate" and "to." Don't try to dictate the terms of this contract to me! I have a say in it, too, you know.
See also: dictate, to

dictated but not read

Copied into text through dictation but not written or proofread by the author. (Sometimes shortened to "dictated, not read.") Used as a warning that said text requires extra attention, as it may not read exactly as intended by the author. It always aggravates me to receive a letter marked as "dictated but not read"—if a person wants to write something to me, the least they could do is check it beforehand to make sure it's correct!
See also: but, dictate, not, read

the dictates of conscience

cliché The directives or guiding principles of one's own moral values. Several high-ranking officials have broken rank with the senator on the controversial issue, claiming they felt compelled to follow the dictates of conscience. We must always be informed by the dictates of conscience when creating new policies.
See also: conscience, dictate, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dictate (something) to someone

1. to speak out words to someone who writes them down; to speak words into a recording device to be written down later by someone. Walter dictated a letter to his secretary. Please come in so I can dictate to you.
2. to lay out or spell out the exact terms of something to someone; to act as a dictator. You can't dictate the rules to us. Please don't dictate to me.
See also: dictate, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dictate to

1. To say or read something aloud to someone, especially for it to be written down or notated: The executive dictated the letter to the secretary.
2. To issue orders or commands to someone: The manager dictated the new company policy to the staff.
See also: dictate, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dictates of conscience

The guiding principles of what one believes is right. The word “dictate” has been so used, for the authoritative words of law, scripture, and the like, since the late sixteenth century. In 1656 Archbishop John Bramhall wrote, “Contrarie to the dictate of his conscience.”
See also: conscience, dictate, of
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
The English version of Dragon Dictate Medical for Mac, version 4, is available immediately for download starting at $999.99 on www.nuance.com.
Dragon Dictate for Mac allows people to save time and to be more productive at school, work, home, or on the go with dictation speeds up to three times faster than typing, with words appearing on the screen as you speak them.
Air Dictate, which in addition to an iPhone 4S requires a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, is the newest app from Avatron, the maker of Air Display, Air Sharing and Print Sharing.
Speech solutions provider Nuance Communications Inc (Nasdaq:NUAN) unveiled on Monday Dragon Dictate for Mac v2.0, the newest addition to the Dragon family of speech recognition products.
"Whereas in the first set, at least when I was behind in games, I was coming up with big serves, being able to dictate the points.
Well,absolutely not, Gates said when asked: Would you be comfortable with any negotiations that gave the Taliban the power to dictate a timetable for US troop withdrawal?
* EU bureaucrats from Brussels now dictate to parents how and under what conditions they may spank their children.
The service works with a company's existing infrastructure and bandwidth, and can be expanded as business needs dictate. The service can be accessed from any location with Internet access via a robust online dashboard that makes controlling how calls and messages are handled easier.
These highly variable geologic conditions, significantly affected by past glacial activity, dictate different design and construction approaches throughout the five boroughs.
The rules of wrestling (the high school variety, not the cable TV folding-chair-across-the-back version) dictate that a competitor receives two points for a reversal maneuver.
Considering the business demands of the corporation, probably not, but there will be a need for developing a close strategic relationship with the deposit libraries not least because they will have the authority to dictate the means of delivery, which in turn could have a major financial impact on the corporation aside from the implications for content creation processes.
The training process requires the user to dictate text that appears on the screen into the software.