1590s, from Latin dictatum "something dictated," noun use of neuter past participle of dictare (see dictate (v.)).
1590s, "to practice dictation, say aloud for another to write down," from Latin dictatus, past participle of dictare "say often, prescribe," frequentative of dicere "to say, speak" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly"). Sense of "to command" is 1620s. Related: Dictated; dictates; dictating.
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