[dik-tey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for dictation on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act or manner of dictating for reproduction in writing.
  2. the act or manner of transcribing words uttered by another.
  3. words that are dictated or that are reproduced from dictation.
  4. the playing or singing of music to be notated by a listener, especially as a technique of training the ear.
  5. music notated from dictation.
  6. the act of commanding arbitrarily.
  7. something commanded.

Origin of dictation

1650–60; < Late Latin dictātiōn- (stem of dictātiō) a dictating < Latin dictāt(us) (see dictate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdic·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·dic·ta·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dictation

Historical Examples of dictation

  • But you must learn the dictation; the great book, the magnum opus, it is there.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • This is a convenient arrangement in using the phonograph for correspondence or dictation.

  • It may have been written at Henry Dunbar's dictation, and under coercion.

    Henry Dunbar

    M. E. Braddon

  • Then I will write out the charm from your dictation, he said.

  • The guidance of this expert he will follow, and do what he has to do at his dictation.

British Dictionary definitions for dictation


  1. the act of dictating material to be recorded or taken down in writing
  2. the material dictated
  3. authoritative commands or the act of giving them
Derived Formsdictational, 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

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