dictate to (one)

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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
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.
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References in classic literature ?
Jellyby, putting a number of papers towards us, "to look over some remarks on that head, and on the general subject, which have been extensively circulated, while I finish a letter I am now dictating to my eldest daughter, who is my amanuensis--"
I mean, I'm the one who dictates what my opponent k gets, not you dictating to me how much A I get.
London, July 6(ANI): Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding has criticized the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for having too much power in world cricket and dictating to the International Cricket Council (ICC).
In 1897, suffering from writer's cramp, Henry James (1843-1916) began dictating to a typist.
Did you ever hear of any one dictating to any developer what they are going to build in their office?
A Scottish Executive spokes- man said last night: "We don't believe we are dictating to people.