dom·​i·​nant | \ ˈdä-mə-nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) , ˈdäm-nənt \

Definition of dominant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others the dominant culture
b : very important, powerful, or successful a dominant theme a dominant industry the team's dominant performance
2 : overlooking and commanding from a superior position a dominant hill
3 : of, relating to, or exerting ecological or genetic dominance dominant genes dominant and recessive traits
4 biology : being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action dominant eye used her dominant hand



Definition of dominant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 music : the fifth tone of a major or minor scale (see scale entry 5 sense 1)
2a genetics : a character or factor that exerts genetic dominance (see dominance sense 1b)
b ecology : any of one or more kinds of organism (such as a species) in an ecological community that exerts a controlling influence on the environment and thereby largely determines what other kinds of organisms are present dominant conifers
c sociology : an individual having a controlling, prevailing, or powerful position in a social hierarchy : a dominant (see dominant entry 1 sense 1) individual in a social hierarchy

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Other Words from dominant


dominantly adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for dominant


dominant, predominant, paramount, preponderant mean superior to all others in influence or importance. dominant applies to something that is uppermost because ruling or controlling. a dominant social class predominant applies to something that exerts, often temporarily, the most marked influence. a predominant emotion paramount implies supremacy in importance, rank, or jurisdiction. unemployment was the paramount issue in the campaign preponderant applies to an element or factor that outweighs all others in influence or effect. preponderant evidence in her favor

Examples of dominant in a Sentence

Adjective The company is now dominant in its market. It is the dominant culture in the region. the dominant female of the pack
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Rodgers has the Packers, seeded second in the NFC, on the verge of another Super Bowl appearance after a dominant home win over the Seattle Seahawks, and a second title would burnish one of the best quarterback résumés of all time. Anchorage Daily News, "What to know about the NFL’s conference championship games," 19 Jan. 2020 The latter is dominant in takedown defense, striking and just overall showmanship. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "UFC 246: Conor McGregor vs. Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone odds, picks and best bets," 18 Jan. 2020 The black is still dominant but the color lends an image all the tones of life: warmth, cold, depth, and light. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Diana Ejaita’s “Portrait of History”," 13 Jan. 2020 In the Big 12 era, Kansas has been dominant, home or road, with its streak of 15 straight regular-season conference titles ended last season by Tech and Kansas State. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Baylor’s early conference wins turn heads around the Big 12," 10 Jan. 2020 Susan Fox, who studies English speech at the University of Bern in Switzerland, suggests that the authentic Cockney voice may have endured in Thetford because Londoners overwhelmed the locals, then remained dominant. The Economist, "The Cockneys of Thetford," 18 Dec. 2019 Defending champ Clemson remains third following yet another dominant win, this one against in-state rival South Carolina, picking up the remaining four No. 1 nods. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "LSU stays at No. 1, while Alabama falls to No. 9 in Amway Coaches Poll," 2 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, Hamilton was sharpening for the gauntlet Open, facing the grind of the 6A Premier Region, finishing with a dominant win over 6A semifinalist Perry and giving Chandler the scare of its season. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Hamilton's run continues to Open Division semifinals with win at No. 2 Centennial," 15 Nov. 2019 Half the country votes on machines made by ES&S. Many experts and election officials say the manufacturer remains dominant because there’s little government regulation and almost no oversight. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This was once viewed as the dominant of the league's two divisions, with No. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Early surprises - both good and bad - after two full weeks of the college football season," 10 Sep. 2019 Khabib Nurmagomedov looks to continue his dominant, undefeated ways, while his opponent, Dustin Poirier, attempts to create a massive upset with a knockout victory. Justin Barrasso,, "UFC 242 Live Blog: Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier Meet in Main Event," 7 Sep. 2019 Those who are vata dominant should minimize cold and raw foods and too much caffeine. Cynthia Sass, Mph,, "What Is the Ayurvedic Diet—and Can It Help You Lose Weight?," 12 Aug. 2019 The complaint also notes Renard Spivey appears to be right-hand dominant and he was shot through his left thigh area. Christina Maxouris And Sheena Jones, CNN, "A Texas deputy who appeared on a TV court show has been charged with killing his wife," 31 July 2019 Will Sabonis shed his reluctance to shoot when facing up, spread better than his predecessor Thad Young and not be so left-hand dominant? J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Pacers will start both Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis. Why? The East demands it," 18 July 2019 New chapters continue to be written at the storied track year after year -- lately with one dominant, main character. Julius Long And Jill Martin, CNN, "Weekend sports lineup includes Serena Williams and the Big 3 aiming for more Wimbledon glory," 12 July 2019 Irving and Durant are both ball-dominant, scoring-focused players. New York Times, "N.B.A. Superstars’ New Strategy: Tag-Team a Title," 12 July 2019 But in recent years the rise of the internet and the accession of central and eastern European states have made English dominant. The Economist, "Brexit is the ideal moment to make English the EU’s common language," 15 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dominant.' 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 dominant


circa 1532, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dominant

Adjective and Noun

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin dominant-, dominans, present participle of dominari — see dominate

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Time Traveler for dominant

Time Traveler

The first known use of dominant was circa 1532

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Statistics for dominant

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dominant.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dominant


How to pronounce dominant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dominant

: more important, powerful, or successful than most or all others
: most common
biology : causing or relating to a characteristic or condition that a child will have if one of the child's parents has it


dom·​i·​nant | \ ˈdä-mə-nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) \

Kids Definition of dominant

1 : controlling or being more powerful or important than all others The team is dominant in its league.
2 : being or produced by a form of a gene that prevents or hides the effect of another form A dominant gene produces brown eye color.


dom·​i·​nant | \ -nənt How to pronounce dominant (audio) \

Medical Definition of dominant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exerting forcefulness or having dominance in a social hierarchy
2 : being the one of a pair of bodily structures that is the more effective or predominant in action the dominant eye
3 : of, relating to, or exerting genetic dominance

Other Words from dominant

dominantly adverb



Medical Definition of dominant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a dominant genetic character or factor
2 : a dominant individual in a social hierarchy

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Comments on dominant

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


dull or mediocre

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