dom·​i·​nate | \ˈdä-mə-ˌnāt \
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 \ -​ˌnā-​tiv \ adjective
dominator \ -​ˌnā-​tər \ 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

Crosby dominated almost every facet of mainstream entertainment during this tumultuous period. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Bing Crosby’ Review: Nothin’ but Blue Skies," 8 Nov. 2018 Instead, a new temperature oscillation in the Indian Ocean dominates. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Mad scientists flip the Earth’s spin in climate models, watch water go nuts," 17 Oct. 2018 Actress Regina Hall, 47, dominates onscreen in her new movie, The Hate U Give in theaters nationwide on October 19, adapted from the best-selling young adult novel of the same name. Lindsey Benoit, Good Housekeeping, "Regina Hall Shows off Her Fall Fashion Favorites in Easy-to-Wear Looks," 9 Oct. 2018 For two consecutive weekends, Beyoncé dominated the Coachella stage with a performance that took over social media. Ana Colón, Glamour, "7 Easy Halloween Costumes That Are Very 2018," 4 Oct. 2018 Fox News also dominated in the key demographic of adults ages 25-54, averaging 1.1 million viewers versus 736,000 for CNN and 464,000 for MSNBC. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Fox News dominates ratings on coverage of dramatic Kavanaugh-Ford hearing," 28 Sep. 2018 After all, before the car took over, the horse and buggy dominated. Tamara Warren, The Verge, "Monterey Car Week is where the past and future of automobiles collide," 29 Aug. 2018 At this specific cultural moment, ultra-inspiring and relentlessly original productions are dominating the theater scene and pop culture as a whole. Jamie Beckman, Allure, "Backstage Beauty Secrets From the Cast and Crew of Hamilton and Sleep No More," 13 Aug. 2018 The Helsinki Summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will dominate the Sunday morning programs. Hal Boedeker,, "John Bolton, Mark Warner, Chris Murphy: Sunday guests," 13 July 2018

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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Statistics for dominate

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dominate

The first known use of dominate was in 1611

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More Definitions for dominate



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 \
dominated; dominating

Kids Definition of dominate

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

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Comments on dominate

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


by force of circumstances

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