—v.t. 1. to say or read (something) aloud for another person to transcribe or for a machine to record: to dictate some letters to a secretary. 2. to prescribe or lay down authoritatively or peremptorily; command unconditionally: to dictate peace terms to a conquered enemy.
—v.i. 1. to say or read aloud something to be written down by a person or recorded by a machine.
2. to give orders.
—n. 1. an authoritative order or command.
2. a guiding or governing principle, requirement, etc.: to follow the dictates of one's conscience.