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

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

dictate to

v.
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
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--"
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.