dom·​i·​neer·​ing | \ ˌdä-mə-ˈnir-iŋ How to pronounce domineering (audio) \

Definition of domineering

: inclined to exercise arbitrary and overbearing control over others

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Other Words from domineering

domineeringly adverb
domineeringness noun

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

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.

Examples of domineering in a Sentence

the younger children in the family were controlled by a domineering older sister
Recent Examples on the Web Unlike Connell, Morrone’s Massimo functions not as an actual character but as a stand-in for a type of man—rich, attractive, domineering. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Why People Are Obsessed With a Terrible Polish Erotic Thriller," 26 June 2020 Undoubtedly, there were seeds of brotherly love in your father’s domineering behavior. Philip Galanes, New York Times, "Is My Adult Son Too Old for House Rules?," 27 Feb. 2020 It has been suggested that as a conjurer of mental images, Mabuse was a sort of alter ego for the domineering director. J. Hoberman, New York Times, "An Evil Doctor Who Casts a Spell on Subjects and Viewers Alike," 6 May 2020 There will be some noncompliance, but a domineering approach is likely to make that problem worse rather than better. The Editors, National Review, "Free O.C.," 4 May 2020 My father, Scott Thompson, grew up there as the shy, misfit son of a domineering Baptist minister. Nicholas Thompson, Wired, "To Run My Best Marathon at Age 44, I Had to Outrun My Past," 20 Apr. 2020 But the arrival of guard Jimmy Butler, whose domineering habits have been well-chronicled, impeded Wiggins’ progress. Connor Letourneau,, "How Andrew Wiggins is finding new life with the Warriors," 9 Feb. 2020 Second, silent but domineering in all of this, is the Taliban. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "The US 'understanding' with the Taliban -- stop fighting for long enough and we'll leave," 21 Feb. 2020 The most recognizable names are Sterling K. Brown, who plays a flawed and domineering but loving patriarch, and Lucas Hedges, deeply winning as the love interest for the family’s daughter. Jocelyn Noveck, Detroit Free Press, "‘Waves’ explores the ebb, flow of a family’s love," 5 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of domineering

1588, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for domineering

Time Traveler

The first known use of domineering was in 1588

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Statistics for domineering

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Domineering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for domineering


How to pronounce domineering (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of domineering

: tending too often to tell people what to do : often trying to control the behavior of others

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