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

Is the Warriors’ recent dominance and influx of talent bad for the NBA? Mark Medina, sacbee, "'I'm not trying to create ... forced parity': Why the Warriors don't worry NBA boss," 10 July 2018 Once violence enters the picture, all other relationships reduce to dominance and control. David Roberts, Vox, "Please don’t spank your kids," 3 July 2018 Kevin Durant Is in a Tricky Spot Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Nathaniel Friedman on KD's continued dominance and apparent heel turn. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Kevin Durant Is in a Tricky Spot," 9 June 2018 For a Russia already resurgent on the global stage, increased influence in the Middle East, home to a web of Soviet-era alliances, is crucial for the Kremlin to counter Western dominance and push for Russian interests. Washington Post, "Chechnya’s leader uses World Cup to extend his outreach to Middle East," 27 May 2018 The other is 50 years in the future after China has assumed world dominance and consists of a full-blown musical complete with a singing and dancing Hillary Clinton and a chorus of 19 Asians in whiteface. Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, "‘Soft Power’s’ Hwang, Tesori talk about their hit musical at SF Asian film fest," 21 May 2018 Lions with darker manes have higher testosterone levels, signaling dominance and increasing their mating successes. Elisa Neckar, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Big Cats," 8 May 2018 Both had moments of sloppiness defensively and in possession, as well as moments of dominance and control of the game. Juan Pimiento,, "Real Madrid upend Bayern, Liverpool rout Roma and the best of the week in soccer," 26 Apr. 2018 Despite his dominance and playing every game last year, the six-time Pro Bowler has seen his snap percentage decrease slightly each of the last three seasons. Paul Dehner Jr.,, "Cincinnati Bengals 2018 NFL Draft strategy: Should it be the next Geno or next Peko?," 20 Apr. 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

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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