dom·​i·​nate | \ ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce dominate (audio) \
dominated; dominating

Definition of dominate

transitive verb

1 : rule, control an empire that dominated the world
2 : to exert the supreme determining or guiding influence on the ambition that has dominated his life
3 : to overlook from a superior elevation or command because of superior height or position a hill that dominates the town
4a : to be predominant in sugar maples dominate the forest
b : to have a commanding or preeminent place or position in name brands dominate the market

intransitive verb

1 : to have or exert mastery, control, or preeminence his desire to dominate a dominating factor in industrial growth
2 : to occupy a more elevated or superior position

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Other Words from dominate

dominative \ ˈdä-​mə-​ˌnā-​tiv How to pronounce dominative (audio) \ adjective
dominator \ ˈdä-​mə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce dominator (audio) \ noun

Examples of dominate in a Sentence

One company has dominated the market for years. He dominated her life for many years. His work dominated the art scene last year. Our team dominated throughout the game. Our team dominated play throughout the game.
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Recent Examples on the Web Two sets of bronze sculptures dominate the memorial, reports Susan Stamberg for NPR. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Controversial, Long-Delayed Eisenhower Memorial Finally Makes Its Debut," 15 Sep. 2020 Cady said middle-class issues dominate her campaign: Housing is too expensive, traffic is too congested and wages are too low. Ryan Gillespie,, "State House District 42: Fred Hawkins, Barbara Cady rehash local fights over Split Oak, coal ash," 11 Sep. 2020 But Marguerite Roza, director of the Edunomics Lab, said teacher layoffs may dominate headlines over the next several months as districts spend down their cash reserves and states start axing their budgets. Bracey Harris And Neal Morton, USA TODAY, "Between COVID-19 and layoffs, schools may not have enough teachers to get through the year," 4 Sep. 2020 Future generations will certainly judge us by the hypocritical absurdities that dominate today’s news. Stephen E. Osman, Star Tribune, "Fort Snelling's 200th anniversary deserves more celebration than it will get," 28 Aug. 2020 The groups that dominate the curriculum are African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and American Indians. Williamson M. Evers, WSJ, "‘Critical’ Ethnic Studies Returns to California," 27 Aug. 2020 In a hypothetical 2024 primary matchup, these Republicans — and others not speaking at this year’s GOP convention — offer a glimpse of the ideological clash that could dominate the party with Trump out of office or fading from the scene. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Republican convention becomes a showcase for potential successors," 25 Aug. 2020 The miners that dominate the industry, De Beers and Russian rival Alrosa PJSC, have seen their rough diamond sales collapse. Thomas Biesheuvel,, "Miner Finds 442-Carat Diamond That May Be Worth $18 Million," 21 Aug. 2020 Simultaneously, detailed knowledge of the nuclei not just of hydrogen and helium atoms but also of the rest of the elements allowed scientists to calculate which nuclear reactions dominate at different stages in a star's life. Martin Rees, Scientific American, "How Astronomers Revolutionized Our View of the Cosmos," 18 Aug. 2020

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

1611, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dominate

Latin dominatus, past participle of dominari, from dominus master; akin to Latin domus house — more at dome

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Time Traveler for dominate

Time Traveler

The first known use of dominate was in 1611

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Statistics for dominate

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dominate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for dominate


How to pronounce dominate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dominate

: to have control of or power over (someone or something)
: to be the most important part of (something)
: to be much more powerful or successful than others in a game, competition, etc.


dom·​i·​nate | \ ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt How to pronounce dominate (audio) \
dominated; dominating

Kids Definition of dominate

: to have a commanding position or controlling power over The mountain dominates the landscape.

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