dom·​i·​nance | \ ˈdä-mə-nən(t)s How to pronounce dominance (audio) , 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Icera was seen as a rival that could eventually threaten Qualcomm’s dominance, Vestager said. Washington Post, "EU fines chipmaker Qualcomm for ‘predatory pricing’," 19 July 2019 Icera was based in Britain and was seen as a rival that could eventually threaten Qualcomm’s dominance., "Jet2 sends big bill to passenger for flight return to London," 19 July 2019 The company’s dominance has prompted more established media giants to embark on streaming services of their own. Edmund Lee, New York Times, "After Netflix’s Prices Go Up, Its U.S. Subscriptions Go Down," 17 July 2019 Netflix reported subscriber numbers far lower than even its own estimates for the second quarter, causing a Wall Street sell-off and fears the streaming service's dominance could be weakening. Steven Zeitchik, Anchorage Daily News, "Netflix reports drop in U.S. subscribers, its first ever, raising concern about its future," 17 July 2019 That creates an incentive for the companies to edge out new challengers that could threaten that dominance. Bloomberg News,, "Tech giants brace for Washington showdown in echo of Bill Gates," 16 July 2019 Even President Donald Trump tweeted that Libra could threaten the power and dominance of the dollar. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "What’s on the Agenda for Brainstorm Tech 2019: Term Sheet," 15 July 2019 There was no question TikTok had arrived, but the larger mystery lurking just beneath the surface is how ethereal TikTok’s dominance will be. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "TikTok took over VidCon, and YouTube is next," 15 July 2019 Last year’s Netroots was full of chatter about the Warren/Sanders divide in the progressive wing, but Sanders’s dominance didn’t seem assured this year. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Progressive activists know their enemy in the 2020 Democratic primary: Joe Biden," 15 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of dominance

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dominance

see dominant entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dominance

Statistics for dominance

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dominance

The first known use of dominance was in 1819

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dominance


dom·​i·​nance | \ ˈdä-mə-nəns How to pronounce dominance (audio) \

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 How to pronounce dominance (audio) \

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)

Keep scrolling for more

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!