dom·​i·​nance | \ˈdä-mə-nən(t)s, ˈdäm-nən(t)s\

Definition of dominance 

1 : the fact or state of being dominant: such as

a sociology : controlling, prevailing, or powerful position especially in a social hierarchy (see hierarchy sense 4) male dominance political dominance companies competing for dominance in the market dominance over their rivals

b genetics : the property of one of a pair of alleles or traits that suppresses expression (see expression sense 1b(4)) of the other in the heterozygous condition

c ecology : the influence or control over ecological communities exerted by a dominant (see dominant entry 2 sense 2b)

2 biology : functional (see functional sense 1b) asymmetry between a pair of bodily structures (such as the right and left hands) right brain dominance

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Examples of dominance in a Sentence

although Napoléon had achieved dominance over the European continent, Great Britain still ruled the waves the professor's dominance in the field of ancient Greek history

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps no threat to Victoria’s Secret’s dominance is more mortal than Rihanna, whose Savage x Fenty show made headlines when pregnant model Slick Woods walked the runway in pasties, a strappy teddy, and stilettos. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "“We’re Nobody’s Third Love, We’re Their First Love”—The Architects of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Are Still Banking on Bombshells," 8 Nov. 2018 Competitors have long complained that Android’s dominance gives Google an unfair advantage in attracting users to those apps—and then using data from them to devise and target advertising. Fox News, "Google is fined $5 billion by EU in Android antitrust case," 2 Oct. 2018 Some argue, in the aggrieved tones of courtiers, that to question Warrior dominance is a sign of impoverishment. Michael Powell, New York Times, "The East Has Fallen Off the Map," 3 July 2018 Cousins has been known to be a gloomy, angry, divisive presence in the locker room, and that crucial element to the Warriors’ dominance — pure joy — isn’t part of his makeup. Bruce Jenkins,, "DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors: A temporary, fascinating spectacle," 3 July 2018 Next up: Rasmussen’s dominance down the stretch and through the playoffs have earned him a shot at making the Wings this autumn. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings 2017 NHL draft: Michael Rasmussen looks promising," 16 June 2018 The intraparty strains came on a day when other cracks emerged in the GOP establishment, all of them reflectingTrump's dominance. Sean Sullivan, Anchorage Daily News, "Sanford falters in South Carolina after critical tweet from Trump," 13 June 2018 The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, that fair trade watchdog, approved the APA deal in September on condition that the consortium reduced its gas market dominance in Western Australian state by selling some of its pipelines there. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Australia to block Chinese $9 billion energy takeover bid," 7 Nov. 2018 For Google, which doesn’t truly own Android, that could be the first serious threat to its worldwide phone dominance in years. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Google could finally face serious competition for Android," 18 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dominance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dominance

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dominance

see dominant entry 1

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Statistics for dominance

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for dominance

The first known use of dominance was in 1819

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More Definitions for dominance


dom·​i·​nance | \ˈdä-mə-nəns \

Kids Definition of dominance

: the state or fact of being in control of or having more power than another The largest wolf had dominance over the pack.


dom·​i·​nance | \ˈdäm(-ə)-nən(t)s \

Medical Definition of dominance 

: the fact or state of being dominant: as

a : the relative position of an individual in a social hierarchy — compare pecking order

b : the property of one of a pair of alleles or traits that suppresses expression of the other in the heterozygous condition

c : functional asymmetry between a pair of bodily structures (as the right and left hands)

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Comments on dominance

What made you want to look up dominance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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