Quick Summary

The Latin root word dict and its variant dic both mean ‘say.’ Some common English vocabulary words that come from this word root include dictionary, contradict, and dedicate. Perhaps the easiest way in which to remember this root is the word prediction, for a prediction is ‘said’ before something actually happens.

Dictionaries Say It All!

The Latin root word dict and its variant dic both mean ‘say.’ Let me ‘say’ a few words about this useful English word root.

Have you ever considered what the origin of the word dictionary actually is? Dictionaries help with the pronunciation, or correct ‘saying’ of words, besides giving other word information such as definitions and word origins. Are you addicted to reading the dictionary? If so, you have ‘said’ or declared your love for it.

Some people try to predict events before they happen, thereby ‘saying’ what will occur before they actually do. The prediction is often wrong, thus is contradicted or ‘spoken’ against by what actually happens.

Did your school have a valedictorian who ‘said’ the farewell address at your high school graduation? If so, she may have dictated or ‘said’ her speech to a friend, who wrote it out for her. The speech itself was probably dedicated or ‘said’ for the members of her graduating class.

A verdict is the truth ‘said’ by a jury who determines whether a defendant put on trial in a court of law is innocent or guilty. If the defendant is vindicated, he is ‘said’ to be free of all charges that had been placed against him. The jury may just as well, however, indicate or ‘say’ that he is guilty!

Only the unwise would question what a dictator ‘says,’ for he gets the final ‘say’ in everything. In fact, speaking up in such a way might put you in quite the predicament or dangerous situation, for you would have ‘said’ something before you thought about what its consequences might entail!

I have now dedicated quite enough time to ‘saying’ things about the root words dict and dic. But go ahead and thumb through your dictionary and see how many more words it indicates have this useful root!

  1. dictionary: tells how to ‘say’ words
  2. addict: ‘speaks’ heavily towards something
  3. predict: ‘say’ beforehand
  4. contradict: ‘say’ against
  5. valedictorian: one who ‘says’ farewell
  6. dictate: ‘say’ words to another
  7. dedicate: to ‘say’ for another
  8. verdict: ‘speaking’ of the truth
  9. vindicate: ‘say’ to be free from something
  10. indicate: ‘say’ to make known
  11. dictator: ‘sayer’ of rules
  12. predicament: result when one ‘speaks’ too quickly, or before she should


  • interdict

    An interdict is an official order that prevents someone from doing something.

  • edict

    An edict is an official order or command given by a government or someone in authority.

  • dictum

    A dictum is a saying that people often repeat because it says something interesting or wise about a subject.

  • condition

    The condition of something is the state or shape that it is in.

  • predict

    When you predict something, you say what is going to happen even though it hasn't happened yet.

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