dom·i·na·tion | \ ˌdä-mə-ˈnā-shən \

Definition of domination 

1 : supremacy or preeminence over another

2 : exercise of mastery or ruling power

3 : exercise of preponderant, governing, or controlling influence

4 dominations plural : dominion sense 3

Keep scrolling for more

When Should You Use domination?

Domination may sound like something that's achieved by military force. The total domination of Europe, for example, has never been achieved: The Roman empire could never fully dominate the northern Germanic tribes; Napoleon couldn't conquer Spain; and although Adolf Hitler was briefly dominant over most of the continent, he never managed to overpower England. But the word's earliest appearances don't necessarily involve physical force; Chaucer, for instance, speaks of a mind's domination by strong drink. So we may observe that a great tennis player has continued his domination of the world's courts this season, or that the domination of popular music by rock and roll was obvious by the end of the 1950s.

Examples of domination in a Sentence

auction houses battling for domination in the high-end art market the Spanish domination of the Americas in the 16th century

Recent Examples on the Web

The 26-week domination for the songs marks the longest by a single act in the Hot 100's history. Gary Trust, Billboard, "This Week in Billboard Chart History: In 2003, Beyonce's 'Crazy in Love' Crowned the Hot 100," 9 July 2018 Decades of ever-freer trade and cross-border mergers have led to the domination of many industries by a handful of multinationals dependent on easy flows of raw materials, parts and labor. Matthew Campbell,, "In waging trade war, Trump must figure out who the enemy even is," 2 July 2018 Decades of ever-freer trade and cross-border mergers have led to the domination of many industries by a handful of multinationals dependent on easy flows of raw materials, parts and labor. Matthew Campbell,, "In Trump's trade war, companies like GM wind up on both sides," 29 June 2018 Dolores, on the other hand, is fixated on world domination and bloody vengeance. Ariana Romero,, "How Women Powered Westworld Season 2," 24 June 2018 However, Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer sees the Republican-domination of state government as a sign that Republicans share ideals with most Hoosiers. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Democrats target GOP marriage platform, focus on unity at state convention," 16 June 2018 But the global domination doesn’t end there: the group eventually hopes to build a resort as well, with its eyes reportedly set on Bermuda. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Robert De Niro's Nobu Empire Says It Will Break $1 Billion in Sales in 5 Years. Here's How," 12 June 2018 The domination Their next meeting took place just two months later in the semifinals of the Australian Open and the match — with its 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 scoreline — lived to the hype. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Serena v. Sharapova: The brief history of a burning non-rivalry," 4 June 2018 It's never shown, but it's implied that, after being knocked down a few pegs, Regina has given up on total domination and the women have all made peace with each other. Esther Zuckerman, Marie Claire, "There’s a New, Nicer Regina George on Broadway—But Is That Better?," 17 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about domination

Share domination

Statistics for domination

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for domination

The first known use of domination was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on domination

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

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!