dom·​i·​neer·​ing ˌdä-mə-ˈnir-iŋ How to pronounce domineering (audio)
: inclined to exercise arbitrary and overbearing control over others
domineeringly adverb
domineeringness noun

Did you know?

To be domineering is to behave like a lord. (The word lordly doesn't express quite the same thing.) Someone who tells you what you can wear or what friends you can spend time with could be called domineering; so could someone who always decides what you're going to do with your free time. Those of us who grow up with a domineering parent usually flee as soon as we're old enough.

Choose the Right Synonym for domineering

masterful, domineering, imperious, peremptory, imperative mean tending to impose one's will on others.

masterful implies a strong personality and ability to act authoritatively.

her masterful personality soon dominated the movement

domineering suggests an overbearing or arbitrary manner and an obstinate determination to enforce one's will.

children controlled by domineering parents

imperious implies a commanding nature or manner and often suggests arrogant assurance.

an imperious executive used to getting his own way

peremptory implies an abrupt dictatorial manner coupled with an unwillingness to brook disobedience or dissent.

given a peremptory dismissal

imperative implies peremptoriness arising more from the urgency of the situation than from an inherent will to dominate.

an imperative appeal for assistance

Example Sentences

the younger children in the family were controlled by a domineering older sister
Recent Examples on the Web Under his predecessor, Michael Eisner, key decision-making was centralized in a strategic planning business unit run by former executive Peter Murphy, whose domineering style infuriated creative executives. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, 2 Dec. 2022 Though certainly part of the then-burgeoning modern/alt-rock scene, its jangly melodicism was kindred in spirit but something entirely different, sonically, from the domineering likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Gary Graff, cleveland, 17 Nov. 2022 Her anxiety stems from her domineering mother (Barbara Hershey) and rival dancer (Mila Kunis) who may or may not be after her part of the ballet. Steven Thrash,, 1 Nov. 2022 Lisa Stardust, astrologer, and author of The Love Deck, says that this particular aspect will bring out our obsessive and domineering side. Elizabeth Gulino,, 17 July 2022 The Buccaneers had a domineering offensive line and arguably the best receivers in the NFL. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 17 Oct. 2022 She was cast as Mrs. Eleanor Iselin, a scheming, domineering mother — a role that brought Lansbury her third Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. David K. Li, NBC News, 11 Oct. 2022 The twins have their own dynamic, with Lucas more domineering of his brother and less trustful of his mother, whom Elias just wants to love — and be loved by. Michael Nordine, Variety, 15 Sep. 2022 Meanwhile, in Harwich, Bartholomew has finally eclipsed the renown of his domineering half-sister Matilda. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'domineering.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1588, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of domineering was in 1588

Dictionary Entries Near domineering

Cite this Entry

“Domineering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

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