dictate to (one)

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dictate to (one)

1. To speak to one who will reproduce the message in a written document. In this usage, "dictate to" is a set phrase. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It's true we have entertained some very unsavoury characters with state visits but they haven't tried to dictate to us how we should do things and haven't publicly insulted our politicians.
'You cannot dictate to us at our own home; you will respect us whether you like it or not,'' Jumwa said.
'As for us, we are not leaving PDP for strangers, we will stay within to fight this impurity of the highest order being promoted by Senator Saraki, this is Kogi and not Kwara state, every politics is local, so, he can not come and dictate to us in Kogi who our candidate should be.
He's in office to serve all of us, not to dictate to us. Peter Roskam cannot continue to hide behind closed doors anymore.
Why does the majority stay silent and allow this small group of people to constantly dictate to us, and even worse to our weak politicians?
"Now we're rock bottom, but if we let everybody dictate to us how we feel, then we're weak - all of us.
"But if we let everybody dictate to us and dictate how we feel then we're weak, all of us.
According to a transcript by the House media bureau, Alvarez said in Iloilo that Sereno 'should wait' for the House to finish its hearings when it would be ready to do so because she could not 'dictate to us [what to do].'
We will not do what other people dictate to us. I am not President just to work on someone else's orders.
Well, I for one wasn't fooled as I just don't want Europe to dictate to us how we live our lives from the shape of the food we eat to the laws our courts have to abide by.
The BBC reported earlier this month that Abu Sayyaf "is believed to have only a few hundred armed followers" but in a video released Saturday by the group, Canadian hostage Robert Hall said he and his fellow hostages "have a hundred people around us all the time" that "dictate to us and talk to us like children."
Shakeel Afridi is a Pakistani citizen and nobody else has the right to dictate to us about his future, commented the Interior Minister.
We shouldn't allow a hairdresser to dictate to us" Human rights advocatee and former actress Bianca Jagger after the celebrity crimper had chided the Duchess of Cambridge for letting a few of her chestnut locks go grey
Nobody could possibly dictate to us for Taef Accord craves to be implemented along with effecting administrative decentralization against the backdrop of establishing a Senate deemed essential for a fair confessional representation, Rifi concluded.