dictate-v; 2 Senses

Sense Number 1: impose as an order; require necessarily

Whenever my mother visits, she dictates the menu for every meal.
The Communist Party dictated important decisions to judges, often through surreptitious phone calls.
Political objectives, rather than humanitarian, dictated the refugee policy.
Schools will dismiss at the regular time, unless the weather dictates otherwise.

VerbNet: NM
FrameNet: NP
PropBank: dictate.01
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 3

Sense Number 2: say out loud for another to record

She dictated a cable to her niece in New York.
Blakely dictated his memoires to his secretary.
I would rather dictate into a tape recorder than write out notes.

VerbNet: transfer_mesg-37.1.1-1
FrameNet: NP
PropBank: NM
WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2