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

Volkswagen’s outsize commitment comes partly from its dominance in both China and Europe, where—unlike in the U.S.—regulators are moving quickly to restrict emissions. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Volkswagen’s Costly Bet on Electric Cars," 12 Mar. 2019 His killing shook Myanmar and has become an enduring symbol of its struggles in establishing democracy after a long period of military dominance. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "Myanmar Court Sentences Two Men to Death for Killing of Suu Kyi Aide," 15 Feb. 2019 This was the heyday of Miramax and the height of Harvey Weinstein’s dominance. Mickey Rapkin, Town & Country, "The Horror of Jason Blum," 17 Oct. 2018 Like Spain's team that won everything — two European Championships and one World Cup — in an awesome spell of dominance from 2008 to 2012, the youthful, skillful Bleus could have the makings of a dynasty. John Leicester,, "With World Cup title, France could launch a dynasty," 10 July 2018 West Virginia West Virginia is right there with TCU as biggest threat to Oklahoma's run of Big 12 dominance. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Oklahoma's still the team to beat in the Big 12," 9 July 2018 But ours is an age of media saturation, of total brand dominance in every sphere, of 24/7 coverage. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Uncle Drew: A Solid Piece of Branded Content," 29 June 2018 Francis' picks have reflected his attention to countries located far from the Vatican after centuries of European dominance of the ranks of cardinals. Frances D'emilio, Fox News, "Pope, making new cardinals, hears Iraqi tell of martyrs," 28 June 2018 For all of the country's dominance in the 15-a-side game -- in a year that's seen Ireland climb the world rankings after securing a second Six Nations Grand Slam -- the feats of the sevens team could easily have slipped under the radar. George Ramsay, CNN, "Ireland learning to love rugby sevens after 'amazing' run," 15 June 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.

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

Share dominance

Statistics for dominance

Last Updated

18 Mar 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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!