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[dik-tey-shuh n] /dɪkˈteɪ ʃən/
the act or manner of dictating for reproduction in writing.
the act or manner of transcribing words uttered by another.
words that are dictated or that are reproduced from dictation.
the playing or singing of music to be notated by a listener, especially as a technique of training the ear.
music notated from dictation.
the act of commanding arbitrarily.
something commanded.
Origin of dictation
1650-60; < Late Latin dictātiōn- (stem of dictātiō) a dictating < Latin dictāt(us) (see dictate) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
dictational, adjective
nondictation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dictation
Historical Examples
  • Then other addresses, supplied by the teacher, may be written from dictation or copied, other pupils now writing at the board.

  • Giocanto, who writes a splendid hand, offered to do it at his dictation.

    Columba Prosper Merimee
  • The rank and file of the parties were no longer willing to submit blindly to the dictation of leaders.

    Union and Democracy Allen Johnson
  • He felt as if he were being dictated to in advance, and he did not like dictation.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • Take from his dictation the answers to the questions I ask you.

    The Guns of Europe Joseph A. Altsheler
  • About an hour later she begged her mother to write the answer at her dictation.

    The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston
  • He could only complete part of the letter himself; the rest was finished, under his dictation, by Miss Blanchard.

    Armadale Wilkie Collins
  • The young man who wrote at his dictation implored him to desist.

    A Handful of Stars Frank W. Boreham
  • This must, of course, have been from notes written at Johnston's dictation.

  • The Army was less disposed than ever to submit to the dictation of the Parliament.

British Dictionary definitions for dictation


the act of dictating material to be recorded or taken down in writing
the material dictated
authoritative commands or the act of giving them
Derived Forms
dictational, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dictation

1650s, from Late Latin dictationem (nominative dictatio), noun of action from past participle stem of dictare (see dictate (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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