(redirected from dictated)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.
Related to dictated: Dictated but not read

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
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
We will support Malacanang all the way, but we will not be dictated to.'
Mr Trump dictated the letter while Dr Bornstein drove across Central Park, New York, with his wife.
"[Trump] dictated the letter and I would tell him what he couldn't put in there," he stated, underlining that "They came to pick up their letter at 4 o'clock or something".
Trump in the past has pretended to be his own spokesman and was said by people who were there to have dictated aboard Air Force One a statement issued by Donald Trump Jr to explain why he met with Russian operatives at Trump Tower in June 2016.
We will then have an EU president and all our laws will be dictated by Brussels, as many are already, without the people of the UK having any say in the matter.
* British grocers have been thrown in jail for selling bananas and other produce by the pound, as requested by their customers, rather than by metric weight, as dictated by EU officials in Brussels.
Additional lines can be quickly and easily added online, with features dictated by the individual employee's needs.--PHONETAG
The design, construction and cost of a building foundation in the New York City area are usually dictated by the widely varying geologic conditions encountered in the five boroughs.
By allowing gravity to pull you forward rather than requiring your legs to push you forward, your speed will no longer be dictated exclusively by your leg strength.
The final point on the market side is that we have relied on the domestic markets for consuming our supply and, for the longest time, the end markets have dictated how that supply is going to go to them.
Because the archive needs to serve different business needs, user permissions will be dictated by relevant business processes.
The movement on the court will be dictated by whichever player is more determined (or prepared) to complete his task.
Rather than statistics guiding policy, a preordained policy dictated what the statistics would be.
Because it's easy to get lost in a corporate culture dictated by your employer, it's important to take the time to clarify your position.