dom·i·neer·ing | \-ˈnir-iŋ \

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

Joe Jackson’s grandchildren had nothing but love on social media for the domineering patriarch who shepherded the Jackson 5 and the careers of pop stars Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. Nardine Saad,, "Joe Jackson's family remembers him as 'the legend that started it all'," 28 June 2018 He's stopped playing defense for long stretches of each regular season, and as his game (eventually, theoretically) declines, his presence on the court and in the locker room will be no less domineering. Andrew Sharp,, "Trusting the Lakers' Process in NBA Free Agency," 26 June 2018 Positioning himself as a domineering global figure to shore up his standing back home, Trump is changing the subject from the scandals hounding his administration ahead of the midterm elections. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Trump hopes America First abroad leads to wins at home," 11 May 2018 Maria herself would rise to become one of the most powerful empresses in the world through the diligent direction of her domineering mother. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "Empress Maria heads juicy Russian cast in historical novel about the Romanovs," 12 July 2018 Britain suffers from an over-mighty executive; Italy from chronically weak government; Israel from small, domineering factions. The Economist, "American democracy’s built-in bias towards rural Republicans," 12 July 2018 So LeBron James finally leaves the NBA East and there is relieved cheering and merriment across the conference, like when the Munchkins of Oz were finally rid of the scourge of the domineering Wicked Witch. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Melo to Miami? How Heat’s interest in Carmelo Anthony reveals one team’s desperation," 11 July 2018 Blessed with a natural eye for goal and a domineering presence in the penalty area, Lewandowksi has proved a nightmare for opposition defenders across Europe., "8 of the Most Unstoppable Players Across Europe's Elite Leagues This Season," 21 June 2018 Toni Collette stars as Annie Graham, an acclaimed sculptor who’s still recovering from the death of her domineering mother when her family suffers more tragedy. Noel Murray, The Verge, "Netflix’s Before I Wake is the perfect film to stream after seeing Hereditary," 8 June 2018

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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Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for domineering

The first known use of domineering was in 1588

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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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